Why is Water Aerobics so Great for Seniors?May 31, 2023
In the 1970s and 80s, water aerobics saw a rise in popularity thanks to exercise videos and the ease of accessibility. Since then, it has grown to encompass a number of aquatic exercises, including leg lifts, arm curls, and more. While anyone can benefit from water aerobics, this low-impact workout is especially beneficial for older adults. But why is water aerobics so great for seniors?
Easy on the joints
For those with joint pain or arthritis, water aerobics is a fantastic option for exercise. The buoyancy of the water supports one’s body weight, which reduces the impact on joints during exercise. This means that seniors can get a full-body workout without the risk of injury that can come from other types of exercise.
Increase balance and coordination
In addition to the reduction of stress on your joints, those who practice water aerobics also experience better balance and overall coordination. Water pressure makes your joints more flexible, which allows you to stretch with more ease. In doing so, you strengthen the muscles in your legs an core. As a result, you build your balance.
Reduced risk of injury
Many seniors put off exercise out of fear of injuring themselves. Thankfully, the risk of injury is quite low in aerobic exercise. The support of water helps keep you upright, and if you do fall, you aren’t likely to seriously injure yourself. Out of the water, too, you are less likely to experience a serious fall. This is due to your improved balance and overall strength.
Despite being a low-impact form of exercise, water aerobics still gets the blood pumping. Water creates additional resistance to their limbs, which means it takes more effort to move. This effort increases one’s heart rate, which promotes better blood flow. By practicing aerobic exercises, seniors decrease their risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.
An emotional benefit too
While you could visit your local community pool and try water aerobic exercises on your own, most individuals choose to join a water aerobics class. These classes may take place in community centers, senior centers, or retirement communities, and they offer a fun and social environment for seniors to exercise together.
Exercise in general has been linked to a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety, and water aerobics is no exception. The calming effects of water can help seniors feel more relaxed and at ease. This leads to an improvement in mood and overall well-being.
Safety tips for those practicing water aerobics
Before joining any water aerobics class, you must speak with your doctor to make sure this exercise regimen is appropriate for you and your needs. Once cleared by your doctor, look into classes specifically tailored to seniors that offer the modifications you need for success.
Certain classes will provide necessary tools—such as water weights or noodles—but others may request that you bring your own. In addition to any necessary supplies, remember to bring appropriate swimwear, a towel, and water. Even when swimming, exercise can still dehydrate you!
While participating in water aerobics, take these crucial steps to stay safe:
- Make sure someone else is always nearby—whether it’s a classmate, the instructor, or a lifeguard
- If you are not a good swimmer or are recovering from an injury, stay at the shallow end of the pool
- Listen to your body—if you feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired, get out of the water to rest
Stay healthy with the support of an at-home caregiver
The low-impact nature of water aerobics makes it an ideal choice for seniors who may have joint pain or other physical limitations. However, for seniors who require additional assistance with daily activities, home care may be necessary.
With home care services, seniors can receive the support they need to maintain their independence and quality of life. Whether it’s assistance with personal care, transportation, or medication reminders, home care providers can help seniors stay healthy and engaged in their communities.
So, if you or a loved one needs extra support to age in place, consider exploring home care options. For more information on how home care may be beneficial for you, give us a call at 773-274-9262. We would love to discuss our program with you.
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