Saltwater Pool vs Chlorine: How They Affect Seniors

Seniors in a saltwater pool

Saltwater Pools Make a Splash for Seniors

The benefits of swimming for seniors are numerous, which is why those of us charged with the health and wellness of older adults work hard and make thoughtful choices to encourage this powerhouse workout. One of the best ways to ensure seniors have the best swimming experience possible is to opt for a saltwater pool over a chlorinated pool.

Why? What Are the Benefits of a Saltwater Pool?

Without the especially harsh chemicals created in a traditional chlorinated pool, saltwater pools are gentler on the hair, skin and eyes. Seniors’ skin often becomes thinner and more sensitive as they age, meaning it’s more susceptible to drying out and shouldn’t be exposed to caustic conditions. Though saltwater pools still contain a small amount of chlorine, salinated water actually gently exfoliates your skin as you swim, leaving it softer over time. With the same salt saturation as human tears, these pools also reduce irritation to swimmers’ eyes. And less chlorine means it’s much less likely that your hair will break or turn green in a saltwater pool.

When deciding saltwater pool vs chlorine, the most important factors for our retired residents were the health benefits. Saltwater is hypoallergenic, so we don’t have to worry about the dense chlorine cloud of most indoor pools setting off an allergic reaction. Similarly, saltwater pools cause significantly less lung inflammation, making them the better choice for people living with asthma. We think everyone should be comfortable in the pool, and choosing saltwater was a practical way to help realize that goal.

Why Bother? The Benefits of Swimming for Seniors.

Swimming is a whole-body workout and is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories. Even swimming at a low or medium intensity burns roughly the same number of calories as jogging. You can choose a competitive stroke — freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly — or you might prefer a lifesaving stroke — sidestroke or elementary backstroke. No matter what stroke you choose, this workout helps you build endurance and strengthen muscles.

Swimming, especially choosing strokes during which your face is in the water, is a fantastic way to increase endurance in your lungs and to train your body to use oxygen more efficiently. When you breathe easier and use oxygen better, you feel more energetic.

For seniors, swimming is a potent workout that doesn’t put too much force on joints. This low-impact exercise lets you continue a fitness routine even if you’re recovering from an injury or living with arthritis. In fact, some studies show that swimming can reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis. Water resistance could also prevent future injuries by preventing jumpy, sudden movements and encouraging smooth, fluid motions.

Swimming is one of the best exercises for seniors because it provides you all the benefits of a great cardio workout and an effective strength-training workout without sweating, overheating or putting excessive strain on your joints. At Rolling Green Village, an independent senior living community, we created our beautiful saltwater pool so our residents can enjoy a fitness routine that’s built for their bodies, even if they’ve had an injury or are living with asthma or arthritis.

If you’d like to know more about aquatic exercise at Rolling Green Village, or if you’d like to see our saltwater pool in person, let us know on our contact form. We’d love to hear from you.