A 'water walkers' exercise program for the elderly.
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A 'water walkers' exercise program for the elderly.

  • Published Date:

    1992 Mar-Apr

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 107(2):213-217
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-993.94 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    Recent studies have shown that older people, stereotyped as weak, frail, and inactive, demonstrate an equal capacity to reap the physical and psychological benefits of recreational exercise. A low cost aquatic exercise program is proposed that is geared towards those persons who, because of their physical limitations, are unable to participate in the more traditional walking or low-impact aerobics programs currently available for seniors. A water-based program would allow these people to gain all the advantages of land-based exercise with out stress or strain on arthritic joints. In addition, the use of water walkers (a buoyancy device which attaches easily around the waist) would allow total freedom of movement without fear of deep water. Those with various levels of disability could, therefore, participate at their own pace. Two programs, including transportation, would be provided twice a week for 8 weeks each. An individual 45-minute session would consist of a warm-up period with gentle stretching, a cardiovascular segment, a cool-down period, strength-training, and a final stretching time. All exercises would be conducted with participants wearing the water walkers, allowing total immersion to the shoulder. Free to move about the pool, they would be encouraged to interact socially with one another. The results of the program would be determined by measuring range of motion, cardiovascular endurance, and strength before and after each 8-week session. Participants' level of self confidence and life satisfaction will be estimated and any psychological improvement will be documented.
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