Aging is inevitable
As our bodies age, our bones and joints tend to weaken. As a result, working out may be the last thing on our mind. However, having an active lifestyle is very important for mature adult health because it can prevent common complications such as heart disease and diabetes, and can reduce pain from arthritis.
Thankfully, there are options such as low-impact exercise that will allow mature adults to get the exercise they need, while not being overwhelmed. Low-impact exercise is defined as an activity that does not require you to place one of your limbs in contact with a hard surface. There are plenty of different low-impact exercises that provide aerobic fitness that mature adults can include as part of a regular exercise program, including walking, step exercises and aquatic exercises.
The latter option is the most beneficial. “Water’s natural buoyancy, resistance, cooling effect and decreased joint impact make it an ideal exercise medium for seniors,” says Crystal Welch, a writer for Livestrong.com.
Columbia residents can benefit from aquatic fitness opportunities close to home. Columbia Association’s (CA)Aquatics Department offers aqua fitness programs that are ideal for people with arthritis. There are two programs: Aqua Arthritis and Aqua Arthritis Plus.
The Aqua Arthritis class incorporates gentle exercises to help decrease pain and stiffness. The Aqua Arthritis Plus class offers the same thing with an emphasis on endurance. Both classes are offered at CA’s Columbia Athletic Club and Columbia Gym.
In addition to the Aqua Arthritis classes, the Athletic Club provides a warm water therapy pool. “Participating in fitness classes in the warm water therapy pool at the Athletic Club has proven benefits for our members,” says Aqua Fitness Team Leader Kim Zanski. “The exercises improve flexibility, muscle strength and endurance. Besides the fitness component, the social aspect of these classes has helped members form new and lasting friendships. Many attend class four to five times each week and feel it is an important part of each day. It’s a great opportunity to move, stretch and smile.”
Although we can’t change the fact that our bodies age, we can certainly change our lifestyle. In any case, being physically active is important — no matter your age.
For more information about CA’s aquatics classes, please visit ColumbiaPools.org.