Senior woman taking a water aerobics class

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Seniors

It’s well known that regular exercise and staying physically and mentally active are vital to aging well and staying healthy. Exercise can improve your mobility and allow you to continue to do the activities you love to do. It can also help reduce your risk of falling. Suffering a fall may not sound like a deal, but according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can lead to some serious health issues:

  • One out of four people 65 and older falls each year.
  • One fall doubles your chances of falling again.
  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
  • Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
  • Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
  • Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
  • In 2015, the total medical costs of falls totaled more than $50 billion. Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs.

Preventing a fall in the first place is better than providing rehab after the fact. That’s why it’s recommended that seniors participate in an exercise program that strengthens their lower body, rectifies muscle imbalances, incorporates balance exercises and increases flexibility. One effective solution is water therapy for seniors.

But why is water aerobics good for seniors? As we age, there are some chronic health conditions — arthritis, joint issues, lower back pain — that can make traditional exercises challenging. But water therapy has a limited impact on your joints and the water is soothing to your muscles.

What Is Aqua Therapy?

Aqua therapy includes a wide range of exercises including water aerobics, strength training, yoga, water jogging and swimming. And because there are thousands of variations of water aerobics physical therapy using various types of equipment, aqua therapy is versatile and adaptable for people of all ages and ability levels.

Benefits of Aqua Therapy

Even if you’ve never exercised or think you can’t because of your physical/health limitations, there are several reasons why water aerobics is good for seniors. Plus starting slowly can help you gain confidence and allow you to progress in ways that will improve your quality of life. Some of the specific benefits of aqua therapy for seniors include:

  • Emotional benefits: Like most forms of exercise, water therapy for seniors releases endorphins that can improve your mood and reduce anxiety. Being in the water will also help you relax which should reduce your anxiety even more.
  • Low-impact exercise: Water’s natural resistance and buoyancy reduces stress on your joints. If you have arthritis, you’ll find water aerobic therapy is a great way to stay active and lessen your joint pain. You may even find you’re able to do some exercises in the water that you can’t do on land.
  • Improved cardiovascular health: Even though water exercises are easier on your body, they can still be a vigorous form of exercise that raises your heart rate enough to burn fat and improve overall cardiovascular health. Aqua physical therapy can help train your lungs and heart to use oxygen more efficiently which could reduce your risk of heart attack and heart disease.
  • Increased strength and balance: Working in water at least waist deep will help you build strength as you work to stay balanced. Moving quickly through the water can provide natural resistance that builds muscle endurance and strength, reducing the risk of falls. And since the water will help hold you up, your risk of falling as you exercise decreases.
  • Hydrostatic pressure: This is the force placed against your body when you’re immersed in water. Hydrostatic pressure has been shown to help decrease swelling in joints, increase range of motion and improve circulation.
  • Socializing: Being involved in a class with other older adults who may have similar health/mobility issues is another reason why water aerobics is good for seniors.

Aqua Therapy at Brandon Wilde

Are you wondering, “Is there any water therapy for seniors near me”?, Brandon Wilde partners with Aegis Therapy to provide outpatient and inpatient water exercise therapy programs for seniors. Our 88-degree, indoor salt water pool is the perfect therapeutic temperature and allows for relaxation of tight muscles, pain relief from inflamed joints, and offers a low-impact medium to restore strength and endurance.

We offer aqua therapy in individual and group settings with a licensed therapist who will work with you to provide modifications for safe movements. Our therapists can work around aches, pains and arthritis to boost your energy and improve overall wellness. We also offer aquatic exercise options like water volleyball, water aerobics and aqua balance.

These are just some of the fitness options we offer in our 25,000-square-foot wellness center. To learn more about our wellness philosophy and the benefits of aqua therapy for seniors, use our contact form.