Courtesy Preston Place
Put on your bathing suit, grab a pool noodle, and get ready to dance it out! Aquatic therapy has many proven health benefits for seniors. Best of all, you can have fun while getting your exercise in. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or you’re looking to maintain your fitness level, there’s a water workout that can help you meet your goals.
Discover the benefits
As we age, staying active can be difficult for many reasons. We all know that regular exercise can help us stay healthy, but sometimes underlying medical conditions can make typical cardio and strength workouts very difficult. That’s why aquatic therapy is so important for seniors–– especially those with arthritis. Being in the water not only creates a natural resistance to help improve balance and strength, the natural buoyancy you’ll have in the water significantly reduces the amount of stress on your body.
If you’re looking for a great rehabilitation program, seeking treatment for an injury, or simply looking to get in a good workout, talk to your doctor to see if aquatic therapy is right for you and learn more about the benefits below.
- Take care of your joints
It’s called pounding the pavement for a reason. When you’re outside taking a walk, as relaxing as it might be, your joints are undergoing a lot of stress. However, when you’re in the pool, the water provides a low-impact, lower weight-bearing form of exercise thanks to the natural buoyancy the water provides. For those with arthritis, aquatic therapy allows you to stay active and provides relief from pain.
- Increase your strength
Building strength and balance is especially important for seniors as it lowers the risk of falls. Participating in regular forms of exercise, like water aerobics, works to build up the necessary strength to maintain good posture and balance. Unlike a land workout, water makes the muscles work harder by providing a natural resistance. Since falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults, building up your strength to improve your balance can greatly lower your risk.
- Improve your physical and mental health
While most forms of exercise are good for your health, working out in the water is beneficial. It’s known to get your heart rate up and help with fat burn, as you’re fighting against the current of the water. To top it off, aquatic therapy is most often done in a social setting with friends. Not only are you getting endorphins through exercise, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of socialization and laughter, which can improve mental health and fight depression and anxiety.
- Pain management
For those with chronic pain, being in the pool can significantly help. Again, thanks to the natural resistance of the water and the buoyancy your body has when submerged, you’ll be able to move around more freely to stretch and strengthen the areas you feel pain. While aquatic therapy is different for everyone, being in the water helps many manage their symptoms and provides temporary relief.
- Have fun!
Through different forms of aquatic therapy, working out doesn’t have to feel like a chore! Most classes are tailored to the interests and abilities of the participants so you can feel safe and comfortable getting in the water and giving it your all.
If you’re interested in trying out a water aerobics class, Preston Place Retirement offers classes to seniors every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Call 972-931-1123 to see how you and a friend can join us!
*Always consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.