Swimming Safety Tips for Active Adults
Nothing calms the spirit and soothes aching joints like exercising in crystal clear, perfectly heated water. Whether you’re into water aerobics, aqua yoga or enjoy the energizing rhythm of swimming laps, water sports are your best friend. Even if you’re just in the pool splashing around, you’re improving both body and mind.
At every age, the cardinal rule of water activity is safety first. But each age group is vulnerable to different dangers in and around the pool. For example, advice on swimming safety for seniors may not necessarily include a warning about running in the pool area, but it will point out potential hazards that take a senior’s unique reality into account.
Before you take the plunge, consider these swimming tips.
Get a Doctor on Your Swim Team
Before you don that new swimsuit for your great pool workout, check in with your doctor to make sure everybody is on the same page about your fitness level and abilities.
Know Your Limits
Fact: You are not training for the Olympics. It’s great to set goals for yourself but it’s important to be respectful of your limits. If you find yourself out of breath, or fatigued, get out of the water and take a rest. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t finish all the laps you planned. Feel good about whatever you did.
If you wear a medical alert pendant, be sure to get a waterproof version you can wear in the pool. You can also give one to your swimming buddy, just in case.
…And You Do Want a Swimming Buddy
One safety rule is universal, no matter how old the swimmer: Never swim alone. It’s always best to swim in pairs to have a backup in the event of an emergency. When two buddies look out for each other, it’s safer and double the fun.
It’s Not a Race
Take your time getting in and out of the pool. You don’t want to slip or lose your footing and become injured.
Pool Shoes Are In
Pool bottoms can be slippery or rough in texture and tough on sensitive bare feet. Many seniors feel safer with water shoes that provide traction and protection from painful surfaces.
Clear the Decks
Nothing can ruin a great pool workout like a trip to the emergency room. Make sure the pool area is free and clear of potentially dangerous obstacles before you get in or out of the pool. A noodle or kickboard carelessly left in your path can be a serious accident waiting to happen.
Safety Bars—Just Say Yes
If your pool facility does not have a safety bar to assist with entering and exiting the pool, speak to the management about installing one. It can be a very helpful tool for those who have difficulty getting in and out and can double as an exercise bar for anyone so inclined.
Once you’ve created a pool environment that specifically addresses swimming safety, your pool time will become the highlight of the day. It will be the happy hour—before Happy Hour!