The Benefits of Aquatic Exercise for Seniors

by

Cindy BinkleyGuest Blogger: Cindy Binkley

Cindy Binkley is the Administrator at NOMS CPW Healthcare. She is a kinesiotherapist by training and has been fortunate to work at CPW (now NOMS CPW Healthcare) for over 30 years! As an active member in the community, Cindy is a board member in the Rotary Club of Toledo, the Advisory Board for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Professional Skills Institute and the Exercise and Science/Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.

Cindy is a proud veteran, serving over 20 years with the 180th Air National Guard. She has been married to Brad for 26 years and they have two daughters, Brianna 25 and Maddison 23.

Cindy loves any activity that takes her outside! It doesn’t matter… working on their landscaping, golfing, taking care of their goats, walking or just hanging out.

Her motto comes from Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

The Benefits of Aquatic Exercise for Seniors

All seniors can benefit from regular physical exercise, but everyone’s level of ability is different. Some seniors may struggle with exercise or have medical issues that prevent traditional forms of exercise. These seniors often find aquatic exercise more enjoyable, effective, and accessible.

If you or a senior loved one struggle when it comes to finding enjoyable exercise you can manage, consider trying water-based exercises.

Aquatic Exercise Benefits

As we age, resiliency to illness and injury wanes, and energy levels seem to lower across the board for many. Physical exercise not only helps maintain healthy energy levels but also improves overall health. Aquatic exercise is beneficial to seniors in many ways:

  • Seniors who cannot exercise using typical methods or equipment often find aquatic exercise less strenuous while still providing a great workout.
  • Swimming is inherently relaxing to most people, and the natural resistance from moving through the water can provide all the exercise some seniors need.
  • Aquatic exercise is accessible. Seniors with access to pools or safe natural swimming areas can easily work fun physical activity into their days.
  • Aquatic exercise is easy on the joints, an important issue for many seniors who may struggle with joint pain and arthritis.
  • Diabetic seniors especially benefit from aquatic exercise. Diabetes frequently causes weight gain, heart pain, and joint aches that would impede typical forms of exercise. Exercising in the water allows diabetic seniors to enjoy physical activity and its benefits again.
  • Falls are one of the greatest risks of injury facing seniors, and regular aquatic exercise can improve balance and stability.
  • Water-based exercise can provide the same level of physical workout as typical land-based exercises without affecting bone density. Some seniors struggle with osteoporosis or other conditions that diminish bone density, and aquatic exercise is generally safer than land-based exercise in these cases.
  • Aquatic exercise classes are great social outlets for many seniors who may struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Like any other type of exercise, it is always important to discuss your exercise regimen with your doctor. Aquatic exercise is low-impact and accessible, but it is still important to use caution if you are not familiar with the water.

Most senior aquatic exercise classes will offer varying levels of intensity for different ability levels, and your doctor can recommend an individualized aquatic exercise plan. Ultimately, aquatic exercise is some of the safest, most effective, and fun exercise seniors can have.

Where to Start?

Not sure where to start to find a pool or fitness center near you?

SilverSneakers® is a health and fitness program designed for adults aged 65 and over that is included in many Medicare Plans. For more information on SilverSneakers visit www.silversneakers.com or call (866) 584-7389.

For more information about NOMS CPW Healthcare, visit https://nomshealthcare.com.

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