Ensuring that you’re getting enough exercise is important at any age. While everyday aches and pains may deter some seniors from going to a gym or exercising at home, aquatic exercise programs offer a low-impact alternative that can make staying active easier. The nature of the environment helps relieve discomfort associated with mobility that typically arises on dry land. The best part is that you don’t have to know how to swim to participate. Here, St. Barnabas Health System discusses how aquatic programs work and the benefits associated with these exercises.

How Does Aquatic Exercise Work?

Chronic illnesses and joint conditions can make exercising an increasing challenge. This is because gravity and pressure can lead to painful symptoms. However, completing exercises in water takes some of that pressure off of your muscles, joints, and bones, making it easier to maintain a regular routine. Because of the water’s buoyancy, it makes your body feel lighter and easier to move, reducing the effects of gravity and giving you the chance to complete exercises with less physical stress. Water also offers natural resistance, making the environment a great option for gently strengthening your muscles.

The Benefits of Aquatic Exercise

Aside from providing an easier method for maintaining physical activity, aquatic exercise can also help relieve symptoms of joint disease, circulatory issues, and arthritis. For instance, aquatic exercise is encouraged by the Arthritis Foundation because it works to increase the range of motion. Additional benefits include:

  • Improved balance: If balance issues arise as you age, this makes you more susceptible to serious injuries from accidental falls and trips. Aquatic programs work to improve balance issues through a variety of activities and exercises. Additionally, you can worry less about injuring yourself during exercise as the water creates a safer environment for you to complete your workout routine.
  • Endurance: Aquatic exercise can improve your endurance, especially if your goal is to maintain a healthy heart. Activities like walking, kicking, and lifting knees help elevate your breathing and heart rate, enhancing your cardiovascular health. Performing these exercises in water also reduces stress on the body, making it an ideal way for individuals with high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions to stay active.
  • Strength: Strength training can be done in the water to help build and tone your limb muscles and core. Due to water’s natural resistance, this can actually be a more productive exercise method than a regular gym workout. You can swim or use aquatic tools like water dumbbells to complete front and side arm curls and raises to help improve muscle tone.

While aquatic exercise is a great option for individuals looking for easier physical activity, it may impact existing or underlying medical conditions. That’s why it’s always important to consult with your physician before participating in any new forms of physical activity.

Explore the Aquatic Exercise Programs at St. Barnabas Health System

If you’re looking for aquatic exercise and swimming programs, St. Barnabas Health System is here to help. The Crystal Conservatories from St. Barnabas is available to residents of the Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, including Allegheny, Beaver, and Butler counties. Additionally, we have a variety of additional senior living, care, and medical services available. For more information, contact us today.

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