Water Exercises for the Elderly

Source: Journal of Gerontology
High angle view of a group of senior people performing water aerobics in a swimming pool
High angle view of a group of senior people performing water aerobics in a swimming pool

Rather than a hot water bath, seek refuge in fun-filled water exercises. A recent comparative study published in the Journal of Gerontology has tried to find the benefits of land and water exercises in the elderly who have Type 2 Diabetes. The study has found that water exercises such as water walking, water weightlifting and water resistance exercises can help older adults with Type 2 Diabetes.

The most common problems experienced by the elderly are the fear of falling down, loss of posture, shakiness, restricted limb movement and joint pains. This makes exercising on the land difficult. Water exercises are a fun-filled way to alleviate pain. Water exercises include lifting dumbbells in the water, water walking, water kicking and arm exercises using hand webs. People with Type 2 Diabetes are recommended regular exercise to keep fit and prevent complications associated with Diabetes.

The study was conducted on elderly with Type 2 Diabetes and was asked to perform land and water exercises for a period. The performance level of the group was better in the elderly when they did water exercises in comparison to land exercises. Also, compliance was found to be better in people doing water exercises. The study has also found that the HbA1c levels improved in adults after doing water exercises. Along with HbA1c levels, other factors such as heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels had also significantly improved.

These exercises also helped improve bodily movement and posture and lowered the risk of injuries. It is important to consult your physiotherapist before taking up water exercises. Also, people who have Diabetes-related complications such as diabetic neuropathy should consult a foot care specialist before doing the exercise.

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