It is estimated that by the year 2030 the number of individuals 65 years and over will reach 70 million people in United States. Statistics Canada says as that as of July 2017 - one in every 6 people IS over the age of 64.
Aging, a complex process, is greatly influenced by many variables including genetics, lifestyle factors, and chronic diseases, that may indeed interact with one another. Participation in regular physical activity elicits a number of favorable responses that will contribute to healthy aging process.
The National Council on Aging says that staying healthy as you age can be a challenge.
Programs need to provide older adults with the knowledge and tools to prevent falls, manage chronic conditions, and improve their lives.
CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING TO PREVENT CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Because cardiovascular (CV) disease is the major cause of death in older men and women, the effect of endurance exercise training on CV disease risk factors is of paramount importance. Water Exercise is excellent for training the cardiopulmonary system because of the natural massage on the heart and the ease of changing impact and intensity with the movement.
Exercise design needs to be low or no impact to prevent excessive vertical joint stress or wear and tear on the joints. Choosing working positions in the water that help the lower body to move rhythmically without adding additional joint stress, is key to program design. Walking in modified rebound is an excellent way to load the lower body to maintain bone density yet not impact with additional stress because there is always one foot in contact with the pool bottom.
Walking forward, backwards and sideways is always an excellent choice - even if this is only a few steps because of the space issues of the pool. To provide more lower body weight bearing exercises a reverse lunge with a upper body strengthening exercise will be a great choice.
The importance of maintaining bone density with muscular strengthening exercise should be included in every program. A skateboard is an excellent exercise to strengthen the lower body gluteus maximus muscles and hamstrings of the working leg while the quadriceps and gluteus maximus muscles are engaged for strength and balance on the supporting leg.
Although muscular endurance may be trained with CV in a combination exercise, WaterART suggests facilitating separate and specific strengthening exercises and sets in every program to optimize training benefits. Doing so, will help the patrons to work posture stabilization as well as train balance. Preventing falls and injuries are one of the key things that need to be addresssed for the aging population. Falls frequently cause injuries so using the water to train balance and recovery from a fall will help seniors substantially.
CV training in water is unique to land as the muscles fatigue prior to breathing. Therefore a variety of movement planes and using a mix of basic moves must be combined to change muscles frequently. Additionally adding a variety of working positions including modified rebound and modified suspended (if the participants are skilled and able) is an excellent choice. Technique for working positions must be trained so that every person in the class may choose their best intensity and impact. Full rebounding movement is not appropriate for anyone with joint replacements or most of the aging population with limitations including severe arthritis and other chronic pain issues.
STRENGTH TRAINING RECOMMENDATIONS
In summary, it is clear that the capacity to adapt to increased levels of physical activity is possible for the older population. Regularly performed exercise results in a remarkable number of positive changes in both men and women. Because sarcopenia (loss of muscle tissue) and muscle weakness may be an almost universal characteristic of advancing age, strategies for preserving or increasing muscle mass in the older adult should be implemented. With increasing muscle strength, increased levels of spontaneous activity have been seen in both healthy, free-living older subjects and very old and frail men and women. Strength training, in addition to its positive effects on insulin action, bone density, energy metabolism, and functional status, is also an important way to increase levels of physical activity in the elderly.
POSTURAL STABILITY RECOMMENDATIONS
There are still many questions that remain to be answered regarding the efficacy of aquatic exercise as a fall prevention strategy in different groups of older individuals. Because of the multifaceted nature of most intervention programs it is not yet possible to identify the specific mechanisms by which postural stability has been improved. However, it appears that there is sufficient supportive evidence to recommend that a broad-based exercise program that includes; aquatic balance exercises, aquatic gait training, aquatic resistive exercises, and aquatic flexibility, should be included as part of an intervention to reduce the risk of falling. While the optimal frequency and intensity of the program remains to be clearly identified there are a number of studies that have shown significant positive effects on postural stability with a wide range of interventions.
There has been surprisingly little recent research in the area of interventions to increase flexibility in the older adult despite known decrements in joint ranges of motion. Most of the studies conducted interventions on small groups of healthy older adults for periods of time ranging from 6 weeks to 2 years. The preponderance of evidence is that flexibility can be increased by aquatic exercise in the healthy older adult. It is also likely that aquatic flexibility exercises could be a useful component of an aquatic exercise program for individuals whose overall mobility is reduced. We, therefore, recommend that exercises such as aquatic walking, aquatic aerobics, aquatic strengthening and aquatic stretching, which have been shown to increase joint range of motion, be included in a general aquatic exercise program for the older adult. It appears likely that many different approaches, even with short program duration, may have a beneficial effect on flexibility. The exact dose-response relationship remains to be determined.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTION RECOMMENDATIONS
Research has well established that physical activity and psychological function in the older adult are related. To ignore this important element of physical activity's influence on the health of the older adult is contrary to health and human function. However, there remains a need for randomized, controlled trials with close attention paid to the measurement of physical activity and psychological function, the underlying mechanisms influencing the relationship, the time course of psychological change, dose-response issues, and the diversity of populations studied. Such needs present an important future challenge to behavioral, social, and exercise scientists, as well as gerontologists.
Our goal as a Fitness Professional is keeping people active, mobile and independent. For those already active, maintaining or improving present levels of fitness is key for better health and vitality. For those individuals who are injured or have a disabling condition – the goal is to get back on their feet and staying there!!!
Please get off the wall
....and help the client move especially if they have walked to the pool
The noodle may become the movable wall. If someone requires more support or balance for an exercise then the closed cell noodle ( a more stable noodle may be utilized for helping the body lean to train that unique body position). Using a wall for support negates posture, balance and abdominal core stability training benefits.
Remind your participants throughout a program to:
• Drink water
• Utilized Self paced exercise
• Ask for progressions or modifications
• Regularity is more important that intensity
• Breathe, Body Check posture & work on quality versus quantity technique
• If the exercise hurts or causes pain - ask for a modification or simply go back to an exercise that feels more pleasurable to the body.
Check out Aquatic Senior Instructor Fitness Certification
Check out Land Senior Instructor Fitness Certification
Check out Aquatic Arthritis Instructor Fitness Certification with Tutorial (for new Instructors)
Check out Aquatic Arthritis Instructor Fitness Certification
Check out Land Arthritis Instructor Fitness Certification
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Below is some of our Seasoned Professionals
Harry Clark - Gold Certified Instructor - 86 years young
Drusilla Leitch - Certification Director -80 years young
Karen Hughes - Gold Certified Instructor - 70 years young
Did you know that 60% of our Professionals are 50 years old or more & most have been teaching for 20 years plus! We are truly proud of them.