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You’re All Wet! (Elderly Swimming)

As we hit the midway point of Spring, the weather is getting better and better every day. Perhaps it’s not quite Summer yet, but you can definitely feel it coming. And as we make that transition, our thoughts of exercise change. When it comes to the elderly, the best exercise may be the same exercise that’s best when you’re young — swimming!

True, here in the Midwest, competitively at least, swimming is a “winter” sport. Nevertheless, I think most of us don’t really think of swimming until we think of swimming outside in the summer sun. To be sure, when the youth think of it, they may be thinking racy thoughts about members of the opposite sex, and trespassing into quarries to go skinny dipping; but just because their imagination is a little different than our doesn’t mean swimming is something relegated to the youth. It’s an exceptional form of exercise at any age. It’s good aerobically, it provides a full-body workout, and it’s easy on the joints.

In Ohio, we have a great public pool program, administered by the Ohio Department of Health. When I first started writing this, I imagined I’d be providing resources for people to find local pools (and I imagined they’d be somewhere on that ODH site I just referenced). Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a state-wide list. Here’s a list of public pools in Dayton. If you live somewhere else in Ohio, your best bet is to google “XYZ ohio public swimming pools list”, replacing “XYZ” with your local community. (If anyone has a statewide comprehensive list, I’d love to hear about it — please put it in the comments).

The lakes might still be a little cold, but swimming is great exercise any time of year, regardless of age. So, here’s to getting wet!