Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Power of Exercising in Water

Amplify’d from www.alzinfo.org
Water exercise is one of the best non-impact workouts—and is ideal for senior citizens.
Non-impact Exercise
Experts contend that water exercise, also known as aquatics, provides one of the best non-impact workouts known to man, ideal for everyone from athletes to senior citizens. Because the buoyancy of water “lowers” a person’s weight by almost 90 percent, stress on joints and bones is virtually eliminated, and the added support provided by the water allows a fuller range of motion. At the same time, water exerts much more resistance than air, so the effort required during exercise in water is greater. As such, aquatics can be used to strengthen muscles, enhance cardiovascular fitness and endurance, and improve flexibility. In addition, exercise has been shown to improve cognitive functioning.
The non-impact nature of water exercise makes it ideal for people who are overweight, those who suffer from musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis, and patients trying to recover from stress fractures and other injuries. In fact, Dr. Putukian advocates aquatic work for everyone except those who suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia, where weight-bearing exercises are often prescribed to help stimulate the body to prevent further bone loss and increase bone density.

Water Aerobics
Water aerobics—quite simply, performing a series of rhythmic body movements and dance steps in water— are designed primarily to improve cardiovascular health. The exercises, which can be performed in waist- to chest-deep water or in deep water with flotation devices, are ideal for stroke victims and people with conditions such as arthritis, neck and back problems, and obesity. What’s more, water aerobics require more energy than land-based aerobics, accounting for a burn rate of 450 to 700 calories per hour of aerobic activity. To vary and toughen the routines, water aerobics instructors often use aqua blocks (small barbells made for the water), gyrojoggers for the hands or feet to increase resistance, kickboards, and aqua steps.
Read more at www.alzinfo.org