Ever visit a senior center, the day kind where people come and go as they please, looking for adventure. Ever visit the pool. You will find classes in progress – oldies love the water. In fact, water recreation is one of the more popular and appealing choices of activity at most facilities. People are lined up dutifully along the edge of the pool performing exercises to the accompaniment of verbal instruction. They are laughing and talking gaily, having a wonderful time.
It is all about physical fitness of course. It is not just a pastime. Swimming and water recreation is great for the entire body and it is not hard on the back or delicate aging joints. But it is also equally about socializing and making new friends. From both points of view, it is a real personal salvation, and one too valuable to ignore.
It is so important to seniors that many try to live within walking distance to a public pool if they do not have one in their apartment building. Oddly enough, many retirement homes and assisted living facilities do not have them. Rehab centers, however, often do. It is assumed, I think, that later in life one is too weak to enjoy the water. This is patently not true. You would be surprised to see rapid progress in muscle tone and strength after weeks of swimming therapy. More facilities definitely need to include pool exercise in their programs.
The movie Cocoon had great pool scenes and I am sure there are many others that feature senior recreation. They don’t all just square dance. Swimming gives you stamina and tone, yes, but it also gives a lean body. Didn’t anyone see 60 plus year old Diana Nyad swimming to Cuba? It was a joy to behold in spite of the difficulties she incurred with jellyfish and other ailments.
Or, why not enjoy some of the other treats that the water has to offer? Denny Crane from the popular TV show “Boston Legal” always seemed to enjoy Fly Fishing – I’m sure he had no qualms about spending excessively on getting the best fly fishing rod, when he was seen helicoptering in to a fishing site.
If you are a senior, get with a swimming program in your area and enjoy a new challenge that could change your life. It is as if the water were a magic potion. Try to live in an area that will address your needs on a daily basis. Many senior citizens move to California, Arizona, or Florida where it is sunny year round and they can enjoy water recreation any time. If not, there are always indoor pools in colder climates.
More than one golden ager has overcome depression and loneliness through swimming and the companionship it brings. It seem to be the perfect panacea for what ails us young and old. We swim when we are tots to play and learn the basic strokes. We paddle about for amusement. Later we learn to race and control our motions. We look at it as a necessity in life in case we are in a boat on a lake or in the ocean or to save someone’s life. Now we can add the social element water recreation brings to every age.
So get those flip flops on, don your best swimsuit, buy some goggles if you like, and join a group at the pool. You will enjoy every minute of the camaraderie and healthful benefits. Yes, water creation is indeed a kind of salvation.