Water aerobics is an ideal exercise routine for osteoporosis. A qualified water aerobics instructor guides participants through exercise routines that in fact require more effort and produce better muscle development compared to similar movements performed on the ground. The water's buoyancy reduces injury risk as the joints are exposed to less stress and impact.
Water aerobics is also referred to as aquatic or pool therapy and hydrotherapy with the exercises designed to improve cardiovascular function, strengthen and condition muscles and decreases back pain.
Exercise treatment programs are individualized for participants with osteoporosis and are designed according to their specific requirements and restrictions. When land based exercise programs are too painful or difficult, or bone mass and density is considerably diminished then water aerobics is effective and versatile.
The water's buoyancy creates an environment where the body is supported and allows participants to rest during a class thereby helping to increase endurance levels and not placing muscles and joints under undue stress.
The viscosity of water also ensures gentle friction against movements and muscles get stronger and endurance is increased with no injury risk exposure. The hydrostatic pressure exerted by water on a person's body improves lung and heart functions, also increasing lower extremities blood flow.
Research shows that pain perception is lessened in the water while participants often feel much more relaxed during exercises. Participants must avoid exercises if they suffer from severe heart problems, have infections, are incontinent or have a fever. Limited levels of endurance can result in difficulties navigating slippery pool surroundings and apron (use rubber mats to increase traction and minimize potential risk of falls occurring).
Exercising in water helps increase the endurance and strength of muscles but cannot increase low bone density of osteoporosis sufferers. Increased muscle endurance and strength does however allow these people participate in gravity controlled exercises outside of the pool which will indeed improve or increase bone density.
Increased muscle strength also helps guard against fractures of the bones in osteoporosis sufferers caused by lowered bone density while an improved sense of balance can significantly reduce falls. Bone density rapidly decreases in women after menopause while new bone layering decreases and starting an exercise program, even at a late stage, can only be beneficial. Osteoporosis sufferers must steer clear of exercises like jumping, jogging and running on land – jogging in the pool gives the participant exactly the same muscle and cardiovascular benefits of running minus the jarring impact on joints and bones.
Water aerobics exercise treatments for osteoporosis sufferers increases their ability to maintain daily activities, good postures, pain relief and experience an increased sense of well-being.
Article by Bob Cotton