Low-Impact and Pain-Free
Walking up and down a street is great exercise. It also puts stress on the joints. The bones of the feet, the ankles, the knees and the hips are all impacted heavily by simply walking. A healthy person will probably see no ill effects from doing it. Someone with arthritis, however, might end up in serious pain, if taking the walk is even possible to start with.
The same exercise, walking, done in a pool, can offer similar benefits as walking outside with far less impact on the joints. In water, motions are smooth and fluid, rather than disjointed and choppy. The buoyancy of the water takes much of the pressure off feet, ankles and knees with each step. A person’s full weight isn’t coming down on those joints with each step because the water lessens the weight impact. Someone with arthritis who finds it painful to take a walk might have less pain or no pain when walking in water, and may have less pain after the walk, as well.
There’s even an added benefit to doing any kind of exercise in the water as opposed to standing on the ground. Water slows the movements by offering resistance against them. While this is lessening the impact of movements, it’s also pushing against the muscles. If you swing your arm around you now, you can do it quickly and easily. Do the same movement under the water, and you have to work harder.
The resistance the water offers isn’t enough to make the movement difficult, but it adds enough resistance that the muscles work a little harder with each motion. Doing an exercise underwater gives you that movement’s aerobic benefits, such as with walking, while also providing mild strength training and muscle training at the same time.
Water exercises can also be ideal because the risk of falling while walking or exercising is almost eliminated. A slip while in a pool won’t result in a fall to the ground. Instead, the person will be buoyed by the water. Hydrotherapy, or the use of hot water and jets, can also increase and improve circulation. This can help ease the pain from many conditions like arthritis and make it even more comfortable for seniors to exercise and stay healthy.
Cole Watts is a writer for GoldenRest.Net. GoldenRest is an online retailer of Adjustable beds and bedding supplies.