You’ve heard that you should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. You know that the human body cannot survive without this life-sustaining liquid. And just as it benefits you from the inside out, it also offers gifts from the outside in. One of these gifts is buoyancy—particularly beneficial to the elderly that are suffering from joint pain and other chronic diseases.
Water decreases the pressure applied to already aching joints. It eliminates the fear of falling and increases resistance. It really is the ideal medium for an exercise program. As with running, aqua therapy releases endorphins, those feel good neurotransmitters important to a happy and positive state of mind. There are several different exercise programs available to your parent.
Warm Water Therapy
This type of therapy offers rehabilitation exercises in warm water which is both comforting and helps reduce any joint or muscular pain. Many incorporate underwater treadmills and resistance jets. The warm water also serves to limit post-exercise stiffness and pain and is particularly good for those suffering from arthritis.
These classes are typically performed in waist-deep water. Some offer deep water classes in which participants wear a flotation device and their feet do not touch the bottom, allowing for total emersion in weightlessness. Many incorporate gentle stretching with aerobics, resistance training and weight lifting.
Swimming works the core muscles thereby increasing stability, strength and balance. It provides one of the best overall workouts, improving flexibility while benefiting both the heart and lungs. If your parent has never been one to get their hair wet, consider having them try their hand at using a kickboard when swimming laps. The local YMCA may offer classes specifically designed with seniors in mind that provide a recap on how to perform the various swimming strokes effectively.
Taking the weight off of overworked joints and muscles can offer relief from chronic pain and other chronic conditions. Water-based relaxation classes include yoga and mindful meditation. And you don’t really need a class to just get into the warm water and float your cares away.
Elder Care Provider
If your parent finds it difficult to perform the everyday activities of living, consider the services of an elder care provider. These professionals can include transportation to the local water aerobics class as well as accompanying your parent on daily walks. It’s important that your parent include weight-bearing exercises in their routine as well in order to ensure strong bones. In addition, an elder care provider can prepare healthy meals and provide both companionship and care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Fairfax, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.