Many of us now know the importance of core strength exercise as you get older to firm up abdominal flab, build flexibility and prevent back problems.
You may have looked for the best free core exercises on the web without realizing that the solution may lie in a familiar activity that you haven’t even considered as core exercise – swimming.
Swimming offers you something like a positive double whammy. For starters it’s an extremely good form of aerobic exercise – flooding your brain with oxygen and raising your pulse rate.
But did you also know how beneficial swimming can be for your core muscles? When you swim – whether you do breast stroke or overarm – you exercise the core muscle groups that are so important in fighting abdominal fat. Not only that because your weight is supported naturally in the water – you exercise those core muscles in a seemingly effortless way.
Swimming regularly has even more benefits for legs – leg exercises help improve vascular health and make it less likely you will suffer from vein problems like spider veins and varicose veins in the future.
Surprising enough – the chances are you’ll feel better about yourself if you swim. Recent research conducted at Harvard University concluded that swimming improves morale and self image.
The study carried out by the department of behavioral biology, looked at adults who swam for an average of an hour several days of the week. The swimmers were asked to rate themselves on attractiveness and 80% scored themselves as “attractive” or “very attractive” – way above the response rate for non-swimmers.
Its all down to endorphins – our natural feel good opiates – released during exercise. Regular aerobic exercise makes you feel happier.
What swimming can’t do though is give you load bearing or weight bearing exercise since your full body weight is supported by the water. Load bearing exercise is vital for building bone mass and skeleton strength as you get older. The dangers of osteoporosis rise for women over the age of 50 especially if you have any of the risk factors.
To get the right kind of load bearing exercise you have to do some form of exercise where you move around carrying your own weight. Brisk walking, running up and down stairs or dancing are all examples of load bearing exercise you can build into your day easily.
As with most things – its a question of getting the balance right. Combine core exercise like swimming with regular load bearing exercise and a high antioxidant low GI diet and you’re well on the way to healthy aging.