Can’t run? Consider a swim. It’s the perfect workout for older adults seeking low-impact cardio – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Swimming is one of the best forms of fitness for older adults. And luckily, you don’t need to swim at a Michael Phelps level to reap the rewards of water aerobics.

We know exercise is essential for preserving good health, independence and longevity. But for maturing adults who have sustained a past injury, suffer from sore joints, or have a fear of falling, exercise can be intimidating and even dangerous.

As a result, many older adults will avoid exercising altogether. But what if there were a workout option that delivers similar benefits to higher-intensity cardiovascular activities, only without the physical strain that comes with them?

Swimming is one of the best forms of fitness for maturing adults. And you don’t need to swim at a Michael Phelps level to reap the rewards of water aerobics. Many local recreational centers with pools often offer water aerobics classes that don’t require any prior swimming know-how. Rather than practicing the breaststroke or freestyle, workouts include popular dry land exercises such as biceps curls, calf raises or jogging in place, with water as resistance, rather than heavy free weights.

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Here are the top three reasons to jump into the swimming pool for your next workout:

For those living with a bad lower back or achy knees, buoyancy is your best fitness friend. Unlike joint-jolting activities such as pivoting on a tennis court, or pounding pavement when running, water is a weightless workout that burns mega calories, strengthens muscles, improves heart health, and enhances lung endurance, all without applying unnecessary pressure to your joints.

If higher-impact sports are part of your weekly workout, swimming can serve as a great cross-training option. By incorporating exercises that use different muscle groups and movement patterns, such as those used when swimming, you can prevent overuse injuries.