Why Aquatic Therapy Is Ideal For The Elderly
5 Reasons Why Aquatic Therapy Is Ideal For The Elderly
It is a well-established fact that regular and frequent exercise several times a week is the cornerstone of good health, especially in old age. If you want to age well and stay healthy, most doctors recommend getting a workout in between your day. Daily exercise is generally associated with comprehensive wellness and reduction in fall risk. It is also well known to prevent dementia, arthritis, amnesia, and other illnesses older folks are prone to.
However, circumstances sometimes make it hard to get into the groove of moving our bodies. Aquatic therapy is well known as a fun solution for older people who want to stay in shape but might not be able to. It’s an excellent way for seniors to work out without putting too much pressure on their fragile joints and bones.
What Is Aquatic Therapy, And How Can It Help?
It is not just the elderly, but people of all sizes and ages can benefit significantly from aquatic physical therapy. Many find that it is a good way for older adults to achieve or maintain their rehabilitation or fitness goals. As per the American Physical Therapy Association, aquatic physical therapy is physical therapy but in an aquatic environment. It has to be accompanied by a physical therapist. There is plenty of evidence showing that it can aid in recovery from an injury, further rehabilitation, prevent diseases, enhance wellness, fitness, and promote good health.
Aquatic therapy is typically done in a warm pool with a group of other seniors. Still, it is also done in private sessions on a one-to-one basis with a trainer that works personally with a patient. It is most comfortable in a warm pool, with the ideal temperature ranging from 83 to 88 degrees Celsius. Many practitioners believe that aquatic therapy boosts blood circulation and increases movement.
Several exercises can be done during aquatic therapy, including movements involved in strength training, water aerobics, water jogging, yoga, swimming, and even Zumba! (Though not in the same speed or vigor). There are tons of variations you can try out if you’re looking into joining an aquatic therapy class. Your trainer might even prefer if you suggest exercises that work well for you. This is a highly versatile activity, and a good routine can be molded based on your own preferences, ability, and style.
Here are some reasons we seniors should give aquatic therapy a go:
1. Enhances One’s Mood And Reduces Anxiety
As with almost all physical activity, aquatic physical therapy releases a hormone called ‘endorphins.’ These are commonly also known as ‘feel good’ hormones. As the name suggests, these make us feel excellent by improving our mood and reducing anxiety. This comes with the added advantage of being in the water, which reduces stress even more than plain old exercise ever could. Additionally, since aquatic physical therapy is commonly done in a group setting, it also has many social benefits and surrounds the participant with like-minded people.
2. Goes Easy On The Joints
The buoyancy of the water naturally reduces resistance and lowers the impact and stress on the participant’s joints. Most seniors generally have weaker joints due to wear and tear, and aquatic physical therapy is an excellent option for those who want to get their heart rate going but can’t afford to put more pressure on the old nuts and bolts. Aquatic physical therapy has been established as an excellent way to continue to be in shape. Many seniors also find it much easier to do exercises in the water that they thought they would have to give up forever because they could not do them on land.
Watch Sandy Snyder’s aquatic therapy testimony.
3. Great Improvement In Cardiovascular Health
Even though aquatic physical therapy is underwater, don’t let it fool you into thinking that it’s all fun and no work. Good aquatic physical therapy routines have proven to be great ways to get a lot of vigorous exercises. A participant’s heart rate is often seen to improve quite a bit during aquatic physical therapy, and lots of fat can be burnt. The overall health of one’s cardiovascular systems improves greatly.
Aquatic physical therapy also gently pushes one’s heart and lungs to take in oxygen and use it more efficiently. This can lead to a reduction in the risk of heart attacks and heart-related diseases.
4. Great For Balance And Strength
As one ages, they become more and more prone to falling, which can lead to severe injuries that are very difficult to recover from. As per a CDC report, about 20% of all falls result in serious injuries like broken bones or irreparable head injuries. Aquatic physical therapy helps seniors build strength by training them to control their bodies while fighting the currents of the water. Usually, aquatic therapy is done in a pool that is at least waist deep so that seniors can build strength and maintain balance. This comes in handy in real-life situations and allows people to build muscle strength, endurance and falls can be significantly reduced.
5. Decreases Swelling, Improves Circulation
When bodies are placed in water, there is a pressure called hydrostatic pressure. Fluid molecules put this pressure on the body, even when there is not a lot of movement. Studies show that this decreases swelling caused by pain, often increases the range in motion, and dramatically improves blood circulation.
So, these are a few reasons why aquatic therapy is ideal for the elderly. Contact us for aquatic physical therapy and get started in the journey back to being you!