It’s no doubt regular exercise maintains healthiness and happiness in people of all ages. For seniors, some methods of exercise, such as heavy weightlifting and running, can be too harsh on joints and cause strain or injury. Water aerobics, however, is a fantastic method of exercise for seniors because of the safety the water provides and the many benefits of water exercise for seniors. Water exercises look much like any aerobic exercise you would perform on land, but the buoyancy and resistance of the water provide both support and a challenge for your muscles and joints.
The 5 Major Benefits of Water Exercise for Seniors
- Improve your cardiovascular health, respiratory capacity and circulation. Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate. At least 30 minutes of daily cardiovascular exercise is recommended to keep the heart healthy — that could be a half-hour water aerobics class. Your lungs will be challenged to keep up with your increased heart rate, training them to be healthier. Getting your blood pumping throughout your entire body will improve your overall circulation.
- Improve your balance and coordination while increasing your flexibility. Water exercises are great for fall prevention, since the pressure of water moves both with and against you as you perform exercises, which constantly challenges your body’s reactive muscles to keep you upright and stable. Triggering your body’s reactive muscles will improve your coordination, as your mind-to- muscle connection strengthens. Simultaneously, you’ll safely test the limits of your flexibility; since there are no hard surfaces, you won’t be able to push your tendons too far and risk injury.
- Relieve your joint pain and recover from injury. The movement from the water exercises is just what your joints need to lubricate and be worked enough to relieve pain from joint aches, arthritis and osteoporosis, and recover from injuries. Exercising in a heated pool can relieve joint pain even more while you recover.
- Build muscle mass while you lose weight. Exercising in water will build muscle more quickly than doing bodyweight exercises on land will, because the resistance of the water provides extra weight. As you build muscle, you’ll see your body tone up if you pair a regular routine with a healthy diet.
- Make friends and boost your mood. Group exercise classes are a great way to befriend your fellow senior residents and bond over a common interest, which is an instant mood booster. Aquatic therapy can help you attain a sense of well-being and accomplishment. While it can be hard to get to class sometimes, you’ll almost never regret going afterward. In fact, you’re likely to feel a sense of pride that you were able to do something healthy for yourself.
Jump into a water exercise class at Sedgebrook to start experiencing the benefits of water exercise for seniors. Our aquatics center has an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and group classes offered regularly. Discover your new favorite form of exercise, along with endless other ways to maintain your health, on our wellness page.