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Jump Right In! Water Activity is Good For You!

Having an indoor swimming pool at their disposal allows residents of Barclay at SouthPark, a vibrant rental senior living community, to feel like they are living in a posh resort. But that sense of comfort and relaxation isn’t the only benefit that gliding through the water of a swimming pool provides.

Whether you prefer swimming laps, walking or jogging in water, or taking part in a vigorous water aerobics class, working out in water is beneficial for the health of older adults.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the U.S.. It’s a good way to get regular aerobic activity.

“Just two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical activity such as swimming, bicycling, or running, can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. This can lead to improved health for people with diabetes and heart disease,” the CDC reports.

The Arthritis Foundation has similar good news about the health benefit of exercising in water. It reports that hitting the pool can help relieve joint pain. Exercising in water provides relief from pain and stiffness. The buoyancy of water offers freedom of movement while also providing support.

For someone who suffers from arthritis, working out with your body submerged in water reduces the load on joints. For anyone with arthritis in their spine or shoulders, the foundation advises keeping your body underwater to realize the fitness benefits, burn calories and increase your mobility and range of motion.

Sometimes beginning an exercise routine is the hardest part. Another benefit of working out in water is that it doesn’t necessarily require any specialized equipment or classes. Just walking through water is a good place to start.

To begin enjoying the benefits of moving through water, the Arthritis Foundation recommends starting with a basic forward walk-through waist-height water. With shoulders in line over hips and hands at your sides. Swing your arms in the water as you move forward while pushing and pulling the water at your sides.

Moving energetically through the water will get your heart pumping and feel good. A Japanese study found that walking in water in the opposite direction also had health benefits. It showed that walking backward in water engages more muscles, especially around the spine, quads and shins.It is also boosting your heart rate.

For post-menopausal women, working out in water can help build stronger bones another study found. Bone density improved for a group of women who did water exercise for one hour three times a week compared to the control group.

Some gear that can help you stay safe while in the pool includes water shoes that prevent slipping and a buoyancy belt to help stabilize you.

Other tools such as webbed gloves, Styrofoam dumbbells, and kickboards can add resistance to a workout.

Another benefit of working out in water is the socialization it can provide. Meeting with your favorite pool pals is a way to enjoy the company of others while getting in your workout.

Men poolsideThe Barclay at SouthPark provides a range of amenity spaces including a fully equipped fitness center with an indoor saltwater pool and hot tub. Saltwater is beneficial for those suffering from asthma or allergies and can also be beneficial for the skin, studies have shown.

In addition, The Barclay at SouthPark partners with Fairmeadows Swim & Racquet Club, which is a short walk away, and has another pool. This is an outdoor pool that is ideal for taking a deep-water aerobics class or swimming laps. Other amenities include tennis and pickleball courts, a gazebo for picnics and a firepit for enjoying an evening by the fire.

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