Staying active is one of the keys to healthy aging, and water-based exercises are an excellent way for seniors to maintain their health in a safe, fun, and engaging way.
From swimming to water aerobics, the pool offers numerous health benefits for those who partake in aquatic exercises. Dive into the science behind these low-impact workouts and discover the many positive impacts of aquatic exercise.
Reducing Joint Pain
Arthritis and joint inflammation can be a deterrent from staying physically active. One of the many benefits of exercising in the pool is the relief the water provides from aches and pains. The buoyancy of the water supports the weight of the body, takes the stress off the joints, and allows exercisers to overcome otherwise painful movements.
Lowers Risk of Injury
Increased age comes with a higher risk of falling due to decreased balance, and many seniors worry about this risk when it comes to exercising. Luckily, the supportive quality of water allows seniors to exercise and stay balanced without the risk of a high-impact fall. Water aerobics is proven to benefit one’s balance as well!
While yoga is often considered one of the best ways to increase flexibility, aquatic exercises may be even better! Swimmers can move with a higher range of motion and improve their flexibility over time. This is due to the pressure of the water increasing the flexibility of the joints. Maintaining flexibility is an important factor in healthy aging.
Promotes Heart Health
Cardiovascular exercise is crucial in maintaining the overall health of the heart and provides significant long-term benefits. While running is not recommended for seniors, swimming is a great way to give your heart a safe workout. Cardiovascular exercise is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provides improved circulation throughout the body by pumping blood more efficiently.
Decreases Loss of Bone & Muscle Mass
As we age, muscle mass begins to decline. Water aerobics can slow this decline and allow you to build muscle mass with a safe form of exercise. Along with building muscle, resistance training will also improve bone strength! Over time the bones become weaker, making them more susceptible to breaking. Exercising regularly significantly decreases the loss of bone density and will help strengthen your bones.
Aquatic exercises have many more benefits, from socialization to improving brain health. While swimming and water aerobics are two of the most popular methods, you can also practice water yoga, ai chi, water Pilates, and even water walking. Finding the right exercise for you will improve your overall health and maybe even lead to a newfound passion!