Exercising in the Pool Lowers Joint Impact
While some older adults may feel like a fish out of water when it comes to keeping fit, advanced age and health issues should not automatically limit seniors from an exercise regimen. Water aerobics is gaining popularity as a fitness alternative because exercises performed in water have lower impact on joints than land-based exercises. The natural buoyancy, cooling effect and decreased joint impact of water provide an excellent environment for exercise that can lessen the effects of and help prevent stress and ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back problems and osteoporosis.
According to the Aquatic Exercise Association, water provides a well-balanced workout “that improves all major components of physical fitness—aerobic training, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition.” A well-balanced pool workout challenges muscles through the added resistance of water compared to the lighter resistance of just air.
With many of the pool exercises, you don’t even need to know how to swim. Specific types of water exercises include:
- Pool walking
- Lower-body exercise
- Upper-body exercise
- Cross-country skiing
An added benefit of water aerobics performed at the local gym or senior center is the social interaction, which is critical to good mental and physical health. For exercises you can do in the water—alone or in a group—along with ways to ensure you keep safe during a water workout, read these helpful articles on water exercises for seniors and aquatic fitness tips.
So come on! Grab a few friends, a beach ball, swim fins or hand weights and wade right in. Once you get your feet wet in the benefits of water aerobics, you may never ride a stationary bike again.
How can you help your aging loved one integrate water aerobics into their fitness routine?