Improving your Posture with Water
Kim Eichinger, Executive Director of fitness at Country Meadows Retirement Community, and author of the ADVANCE article, Better Posture Through Aquatics, speaks about the benefits of aquatics for the aging.
For the many aging adults who use walkers or other assistive devices, maintaining proper posture is a huge challenge. But, fortunately with the advancement of technology there are opportunities for adults to exercise proper posture and increase balance.
Using an underwater treadmill, residents achieve better results than simply walking in a pool. Some of these results include:
- People have a more upright posture when walking on the treadmill.
- They walk faster and with more of a natural heel-to-toe fashion.
- They walk with a more natural arm swing.
- Participants who use underwater treadmill express confidence, thanks to learning a new skill that has increased their health and fitness level.
According to Kim Eichinger, it’s vital to invest in the best equipment with the most valuable features for your residents to generate the best results. These features include removable handrails, variable-speed jets, adjustable speeds and easy-to-operate buttons.
- The Handrails offer comfort to the concern of falling down. In addition, results showed that ‘pushing down on the handrails not only helped posture, but also strengthened the triceps.’
- Resistance Jets offer numerous benefits including the use of deep tissue massages.
- Adjustable Speeds allow the participants to walk faster as they become more comfortable on the underwater treadmill.
As a trainer or therapist, it is important to have an exercise plan for your patients, which may take some time to create. Here are a few suggestions before beginning your therapy program.
- Practice the simple act of stepping onto and down from the stationary belt to ensure the participant feels comfortable.
- Practice stepping from the belt to the outer sides of the stationary belt, allowing participants to learn to move from a narrow stance to a wide stance.
- Perform posture exercises on the stationary belt, making sure they are looking forward and not down.
- Practice working with the individual to reach from handrails to the control buttons.
- Perform warm-up exercises on the stationary belt.
Then as the individuals become more and more comfortable with the underwater treadmill, slowly add more challenging exercises to increase their fitness, posture and confidence!
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