Benefits of water exercises for seniors, what you must really know?

Elderly adult tends to have condition like Osteoporosis, arthritis, poor cardiovascular endurance, back pain and other problems that gives them hard time on participating Land Activities.  Because of that, they will feel discourage to participate, which subsequent led them to sedentary lifestyle such as sitting down and watching TV most of the time. People who live in sedentary lifestyle have a decrease life expectancy by TWO YEARS compare to those live in an active and healthy lifestyle.  Exercises are highly recommended regardless of age, and the best exercise for senior adults are Aquatic exercise.

Aquatic exercise or water aerobic has many benefits for both young and senior adults alike:


 

1. It reduce pain when exercising in the water

When you experience pain during weight-bearing or putting contact on the ground, aquatic exercise helps relieve pain because of the effect of buoyancy. Buoyancy produce an upward force which is the opposite of gravity, and this cause your body to float which help support your body weight by reducing pressure or stress in the joint’s, and subsequently it relieves the pain. When the water is at the level of your waist, the weight bearing is only 50%; at the level of the chest, the weight bearing is 33%; and lastly at the level of the neck, the weight bearing is 10%.

Also exercising in warm water with approximately 33 ºC can be beneficial for patient with pain, by promoting relaxation, increasing pain threshold, and decrease muscle spasm.


 

2.  It help strengthening the muscles

Exercising in the water help strengthening the muscle and bones due to the effect of viscosity, which is a friction occurring between molecule of liquid resulting in resistance to flow. For example as you pass through the water when walking, you can feel a great resistance compare to walking in air. In fact, Water provide 12 times greater resistance compare to air, which help builds the muscle and  without depending on any equipment. Also, viscosity is proportional to the speed, that mean if you move faster the resistance becomes greater. This is very useful for person with arthritis, and osteoporosis.


 

3. It improve healing and range of motion of your extremities

When you are utilizing the pool, you can decide if you want to exercise in cool or warm temperature. In warm temperature, it promotes healing by increasing the blood circulation of your extremities (it refers to the arm and leg) and it also promote flexibility of the muscle, which increase the range of motion.

For Cold temperature, this is useful for high intensity exercise like using a heavy weight dumbell. This is because older adult are more prone to have muscle soreness after using weight when exercising, and cold water promote healing by decreasing the inflammation that induce the muscle soreness.


 

4. It promote cardiovascular endurance

Exercising in the water will help increase blood flow to the heart and there is also less cardiac demand compare to exercising in the ground, which there is a lesser increase heart rate during exercise in the water and this will not put stress in the cardiac. This is very useful if the person’s has an history of Heart diseases and your unable to exercise in the land.

Exercise at temperature greater than 37 degree Celsius may be harmful if prolonged, since hot water may increase cardiovascular demand at both rest and during exercise, and also it is not recommended if you have angina, as this will put to much stress in the cardiac.

 

4 comments

  1. Hi

    This is great. It good to know there are exercises that exist. I knew of few elderly ladies that do water therapy such as exercising in water after an operation and surgery. But this would be great for many elderly people in the community that want to exercise as it causes a lot less pain. I would definitely suggest this post to them

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