Regular exercise is a great way to help keep an aging in place senior healthier, happier and more independent. But for the millions of seniors with arthritis, getting the exercise they need is oftentimes a daily struggle. For those with chronic arthritis, the persistent joint swelling, aching and discomfort can literally keep them from leaving the house at all. If you’re a caregiver for an aging in place loved one with arthritis, getting them to a pool nearby that offers water aerobics for seniors will help ensure that they get the exercise their body so desperately needs.
How Do Water Aerobics Help Seniors?
Seniors with arthritis typically experience a lot of pain and stiffness in weight-bearing joints found in the ankles, knees and hips. As a result, high-impact forms of exercise, like jogging, tennis and lifting weights, are usually not recommended. For starters, water’s buoyancy makes a person feel like they weigh 90% less than outside the pool, which relieves pressure off weight-bearing joints. In addition to the way water comfortably supports the body, there are numerous other benefits derived from water aerobics, including:
Water aerobics are a great way for seniors to unleash pent-up negative emotions that can cause anxiety, depression and insomnia. Exercise in general stimulates the release of positive endorphins into the body that counteract stress hormones like cortisol. Exercising in warm water also relaxes tense muscles and loosens joints much like getting a massage.
Builds Muscles and Cardio
Many seniors have medical conditions like diabetes, back pain and high blood pressure. Water provides natural resistance which builds lean muscle mass and cardio endurance that will help prevent or improve those conditions. With respect to back pain, exercising in an aquatic environment gently builds core muscle strength that helps the body support the spinal column. Doing so relieves pressure on sensitive neck and back tissues, which helps alleviate chronic back discomfort.
Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise is one way to help prevent, or manage more effectively, heart disease and diabetes. Carrying around fewer pounds also means less stress on weight-bearing joints for a senior with arthritis. Burning calories via water aerobic sessions several times a week will also help your senior sleep more soundly and have a healthy appetite.
As a person ages, their weakened immune system can’t fight off illnesses like it once did. Doing water aerobics while eating a more nutritious diet helps boost a senior’s immunity against disease-causing pathogens. Regular exercise also promotes faster healing rates and tissue repair that speed up recovery times from surgery or injuries.
Many seniors with arthritis have a limited range-of-motion when it comes to moving their arms, legs and neck. Movements used during water aerobics help loosen up those tight joint tissues and improve flexibility, which ultimately allows for more activity throughout the day.
Balance and Coordination
As the human body ages, it undergoes physiological changes that interfere with balance and coordination that place seniors at a greater risk for falling. Regular exercise helps improve a senior’s balance and coordination, and that keeps them safer.
Lowers the Risk of Osteoporosis
Women and men aged 65-and-over are at risk for developing osteoporosis, but regular exercise has been shown to increase bone density which reduces one’s likelihood for getting osteoporosis in the first place.
Water aerobics can also build self-esteem as participants feel active, free and empowered. And, water aerobics classes are a great way to try something new while meeting fellow seniors and building positive friendships!
In-Home Exercise Assistance for Seniors in Manatee County, FL
Helping an aging in place loved one exercise can be hard when you have your own household to manage or live too far away. When you need some assistance, call First In Care. Our highly trained and compassionate caregivers understand the importance of keeping seniors active so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. Starting with reliable transportation, our fully licensed and insured aides will provide the exercise assistance your loved one deserves to help ensure their health and wellbeing.
While in the home, our carefully screened caregivers can also perform duties like personal hygiene, light housework, meal preparation, medication reminders and companionship. And, all our family trusted home care services can be flexibly tailored in an affordable package to put your mind at ease. To schedule a FREE in-home assessment for a senior in Manatee County, FL, please visit First In Care at: www.firstincare.com now!