During the colder months we tend to do more indoor activities. Most people who go to the gym year round don’t have to rely on good weather to work out which is pretty nice especially when you are trying to be consistent. For those that have ailments like arthritis or joint pain; the cold weather can be very painful, making it difficult or even impossible to do things like go for a walk outside.
Water activities are a great solution for those who are affected by the cold weather and seniors who may not live in a community; this also provides a great way to socialize and gives them something to look forward to. When I was younger and my Dad was still serving in the military; we were stationed in Alaska for a couple of years. During this time my Mom and I would go to the community center located on base and use their Olympic sized public swimming pool. She would attend the water aerobics classes in the shallow pool area and I would take advantage of the open lap swim. There were some occasions that I would give up the lap swim and join in on the water aerobics because it looked like fun.
Benefits of water exercise:
1) Low impact for those with joint pain.
2) Water provides resistance.
3) Improves balance.
4) Lessens occurrence of injuries.
5) Group activities offer a chance to socialize.
6) Ankle and wrist weights can help increase resistance when needed.
Be sure to stay hydrated during water exercises and to stretch before and after. While most of the water aerobics and water walking classes are primarily marketed to seniors and women who are pregnant; they usually are for everyone to enjoy. Instructors were okay with young children as long as they weren’t a disruption to the rest of the class. At the time I was 12 or 13 years old and was considered an exception to the “no kids” rule for my Mom’s water aerobics class.
Some rehabilitative and physical therapy clinics will offer aquatic therapy for their patients because the water does allow low impact and relief pressure from joints that are healing.