The Benefits of Water Exercise

The Benefits of Water Exercise

October 3, 2019
Small pool at Cristwood Park with six women doing water aerobics.  Each on is pushing up on dumbells

Did you know that swimming is the fourth most popular activity in the United States and especially popular with adults.  By spending as little as two hours per week in aerobic activity, you can enjoy a number of health benefits, reducing the risk of chronic illness, strengthening mental health and by getting an excellent work out without the usual strain on bones and body that impact sports can cause.

Swimming is one of the few exercises that you can continue year round.  With outdoor opportunities during summer months, and inside pools available during the cooler seasons, you can remain faithful to a regular routine of exercise all year long. 

Water based exercise can help with chronic diseases such as arthritis without worsening the symptoms. Using hydrotherapy, movement within the water provides the opportunity for muscles to flex and contract against the pressure of the water, providing resistance that builds muscle, while at the same time taking it easy on the joints. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis experience health improvements after participating in water therapy and often reduced pain from osteoarthritis in knees and hips.

Swimming, along with other forms of exercise improves mood. By increasing endorphins, moving your body lifts your spirits for hours after. It can normalize sleep patterns and provide an opportunity to socialize with others in a class format which adds to the feelings of belonging and community.

For older adults, swimming is ideal because it presents little risk of injury and is a low impact option that can protect bones and joints. Water exercises acts as a complete workout that increases muscle tone, flexibility and with an aerobic component added, makes the heart stronger, improving cardiovascular health an endurance.

There are several types of water exercise that can be enjoyed by all ages. Water aerobics entails walking, dancing, using free weights and the current of the water as a resistant to build cardiovascular strength and muscle power.  Solo swimming usually entails swimming laps in a pool designed for repetitive and individual swims. Using free weights, the water provides resistance for body building and aqua Yoga, Pilates or floating can lower the heart rate, blood pressure and stress. 

As we enter into the autumn and winter months, it is the ideal time to find an exercise option that works with your changing body and for the changing seasons.  CRISTA Senior Living residents enjoy access to a swimming pool year round as well as fitness classes designed specifically for the aging population.