I used to be a runner. Taking to the open road was one of my favorite activities - until my back gave out.
Sometimes it's the back, sometimes the knees, but I'm sure you've noticed that you don't see many elderly runners.
Not true in the water. It's much more gentle place to keep fit.
Gravity is kinder there.
I'd suggest a Master's Swim program http://www.usms.org/
or some swim lessons if you haven't ever learned to feel comfortable and make your strokes efficient. Proper technique makes all the difference in the world.Then, you can relax and enjoy a full-body workout. It's never too late to improve.
Today, I was sharing a lane with regular who was working very hard, but moving slowly. I've been there. I took a chance and asked if it would be okay to make a suggestion.
"Do you play golf or tennis?" I asked.
"Yes, tennis," he responded.
"Well, you know how you follow through on your stroke on the court? Follow through with your stroke in the pool too."
The result - he was moving about twice as fast with half the effort.
My sister teaches swimming, so my sons learned to float and hold their breath when they were under six months old. If you have young children, find a class where they can learn be safe in the water.
"The swimming child knows freedom with responsibility"
On any given day our pool at the YMCA can be filled with people ranging from 9 months to almost 90. Some swim laps. Some do water aerobics and some just jump joyfully into their parent's outstretched arms.