As spring emerges throughout the United States, we begin thinking and planning our favorite activities to share with our senior loved ones.
One great activity in which they might like to participate on a regular basis (any season of the year) is jumping into the warm waters of aqua therapy or water aerobics and making a splash. This rejuvenating activity will help your senior’s health and well-being in a myriad of ways.
When our senior loved ones get into the warm water, their muscles and joints will relax. Pushing against the water will improve their muscle fitness for better balance out of the water.
Unlike other forms of physical activity, a pool allows our seniors to take advantage of the buoyancy of the water, even if they find it difficult or painful to do other forms of exercise. The water supports most of a senior’s body weight and lessens physical impact.
Water aerobics or aqua therapy is a great cardiovascular workout also! Your elder’s heart is getting the benefits of aerobic fitness without overtaxing the heart.
When you are able to use an indoor pool, it gives an added benefit of being safer and climate controlled.
Increasing physical activity through water aerobics will also speed up your senior’s metabolism and help to maintain a healthy weight. It is also a great way to socialize with other older adults and share a common interest. It keeps elders engaged in their community, which has been shown to improve happiness and thereby healthy aging.
Research has shown that older women who participated regularly in water aerobics over a 12 week period had improved cholesterol levels and experienced more strength, flexibility, and agility. Elders in the Arthritis Foundation programs have shown a “decrease in pain, improved daily function, and improved perceived quality of life”.
You don’t have to be a bathing beauty to take a splash!
Look for a pool near you if you don’t have one in your own backyard or living facility. There are many community agencies, YMCA, fitness centers and senior services that might have a pool or help you locate a pool near you.
Here are a couple resources to help you set up a safe and effective water exercise program for your senior loved one.
- The Complete Aquajogger Water Workout -DVD
- AquaJogger Active Water Exercise Buoyancy Belt
- Water Exercise : 78 Safe and Effective Exercises for Fitness and Therapy