Water-based exercise is a great way to get active, especially for older adults. Aging is often accompanied by additional health problems that can make exercising more difficult, but exercising in a pool can improve the overall experience and reduce physical limitations and risks. Discover the benefits of water aerobics and submerge yourself in better health!
Benefit 1: It protects your joints.
Whether you struggle with arthritis or often experience knee or hip pain, simply getting into a pool can relieve joint stress, creating a better environment for exercise. Participating in water aerobics can improve joint mobility and decrease pain, allowing those with joint issues to reap the benefits of exercise without worsening their symptoms.
Benefit 2: It prevents falls.
A common concern for maturing adults is the danger of falling. With balance problems and fragile bones, you may be hesitant to step on a treadmill. Fortunately, there are safer ways to exercise. Your buoyancy in the pool helps you stay on your feet – even if you lose your footing. You might make a splash, but you significantly decrease your risk for fractures.
Benefit 3: It allows you to exercise longer.
Increasing the duration of exercise increases its overall benefits as you meet your recommended amount of physical activity. Unless your doctor prescribes otherwise, aim to achieve 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week. Be sure to gradually work your way up to your recommended amount of activity, especially if you haven’t worked out in a while.
Benefit 4: It improves your mental health.
Exercising in water has been shown to improve mood and overall mental health. It has been connected to decreasing anxiety, depression and stress. Some studies suggest that exercise in general can maintain and enhance cognitive function, which becomes even more important as we age.
Benefit 5: It can improve all areas of fitness.
Water aerobic classes often cover all elements of fitness: endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. The aquatic environment offers resistance to work your muscles and improve your bone health. The aerobic activity boosts your cardiovascular health as you get your heart pumping. The surrounding water supports your body, providing the ability to safely stretch for increased flexibility and strengthen your core for improved balance.
Before engaging in any physical activity, get approval from your primary care physician to make sure you can exercise safely. Our MatureWell Lifestyle Center features an indoor pool for year-round aquatic exercise.
CDC - Health Benefits of Water-based Exercise
Livestrong - The Advantages of Water Aerobics for Seniors
NIHSeniorHealth - Exercise: Exercises to Try
NIHSeniorHealth - Exercise: Benefits of Exercise