In Utah, it’s not only millennials that are settling down. So are the older people. The population of seniors, or those aged between 65 and above, has been increasing over the years.
In 2012, the state was home to over 270,000 older men and women after their demographic rose to 9.5 percent from 7.5 percent back in the 1980s. As more age, the number will increase. And these individuals can benefit from one of the underrated parts of the home: a swimming pool.
Here’s why older adults need access to the pool too:
1. Swimming Pools Are Amazing for Low-impact Exercises
Many studies already show that the benefits of exercise know no age. In fact, engaging in moderate-level physical activity can reduce the risk of premature or early death. After all, it strengthens the heart, prevents obesity, lowers bad cholesterol, and stabilizes glucose levels to avoid type 2 diabetes.
But even those who are already dealing with degenerative conditions like arthritis can still exercise—and they should. Regular movements can improve flexibility, prevent muscle loss, reduce pain, and delay the progress of the disease.
There’s also no limit to the kind of exercise they can do. Healthy ones may participate in high-intensity interval training, weights, or running. For men and women with joint issues, they can consider low-impact exercises, such as swimming.
Swimming is gentler on the joints since the water doesn’t add any more pressure to them, but the resistance the water provides can engage various muscle groups, such as the core. In the process, this exercise can promote better balance and reduce the risk of falling and suffering from fractures.
Moreover, swimming burns a lot of calories. A 150-pound person doing a recreational backstroke for at least an hour can already burn almost 350 calories.
Granted, some may be apprehensive at giving older adults access to a swimming pool. But the right pool builder can make it safe and convenient for them.
One of the most popular approaches is to create a beach-style-entry pool, which features natural slopes or ramps going into the water. Every point of entry will also include easy-to-grip and nonslippery pairs of handrails. They may even add these rails in the middle of the pool if the seniors like to perform some stationary water exercises.
2. Pools Can Help Beat the Heat
If winters in Utah can be frigid, summers can be scorching. On average, temperatures can reach almost 38 degrees Celsius, especially in July. The relative humidity makes it worse.
Unfortunately, older people are more susceptible to heat stress. The aging body can longer adjust to the heat quickly. They may also suffer from medical conditions like thyroid issues or take medications that make coping with temperature fluctuations difficult, if not life-threatening.
Older adults may choose to spend more time indoors during the summer or take advantage of the weather without compromising their health via their swimming pool. Easy access to water can help them bring their temperature levels down.
Moreover, they can enjoy the waters anytime. They can do it in the morning when the temperature’s not too high, so they can get some vitamin D, or they may swim in the evening. Either way, heatstroke becomes the least of their worries.
3. Pools Can Improve Mood and Overall Mental Health
Whether in the media or real life, seniors are often described as grumpy or irritable, although these changes are not a normal part of the aging process.
Getting old doesn’t exempt anyone from getting stressed. These seniors may be thinking about a mortgage, healthcare, and pension. Others may be dealing with signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, while others need to cope with pain. Then some are coping with a loss of a loved one, isolation, and divorce.
Indeed, several older people suffer from poor mental health, but pools may help reduce or avoid that. For one, it encourages socialization. Having friends and family over for a barbecue or swimming party regularly can decrease the risk of cognitive decline and help women stay sharp.
These older adults are also less likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. Further, being surrounded by the people they care about the most can increase the production of happy hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. All these can alleviate the mood and lower stress levels.
Fortunately, many homes in Utah are huge, with enough space to build a pool. But even if the yard is small, pool experts can still offer designs to maximize what’s available.
In the end, swimming pools make a wonderful addition to a home, especially one lived by older adults.