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Active Aging – Aquatic Exercise Benefits both the Musculoskeletal and Cardiovascular Systems

More and more studies are showing the tremendous benefits of aquatic exercise. Exercising aquatically offers specific benefits to the increasing aging population as a vast percentage of this population fail to exercise sufficiently to stave off chronic conditions. The most common causes of chronic pain and subsequent aerobic de-condition and reduced quality of life within the aging population are osteoarthritis, lower back pain and fibromyalgia.
Participation in aquatic exercise classes, swimming, or just walking in the water, conditions muscles and organ function while minimizing the impact on one’s bones and joints. Water provides resistance in all directions which facilitates the combining of cardiovascular, balance, flexibility and resistance exercise all in one workout. Water has twelve times the resistance of air which assists in increasing muscle contraction, blood circulation, bone calcium intake, aerobic capacity, ease of movement, and range of motion. The increased hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy of water reduces lactic acid production and gravitational effects on the body, which not only greatly decreases the risk of overheating during exercise, but also decreases risks of stress, swelling, soreness, and injury to joints and ligaments.

Aquatic exercise is an effective and enjoyable way of improving fitness, rehabilitating injury, and combating chronic pain. The appropriate exercise program as one ages will keep the systems of the body working efficiently, which is essential in order to avoid injury, maintain energy levels and optimal biomechanical function. These are key elements in chronic disease prevention, intervention, and achieving and preserving a healthy quality of life throughout later years.


Heroux, Martin “Whether you are a fish or a land lover, exercise is beneficial for musculoskeletal motor impairments” Web. May 22, 2014. http://motorimpairment.neura.edu.au/aquatic-exercise-for-musculoskeletal-conditions/

Avril Coakley, NASM CPT, CES, has been a successful entrepreneur for the past 12 years as an owner of the Ruidoso Athletic Club located in a mountain resort community at 7,000 feet nestled in the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico. The Ruidoso Athletic Club is an 18,000 square foot full service facility, open 24 hours 7 days a week, complete with the latest in cardio, circuit and free weight equipment, indoor swimming pool, racquetball, world class group fitness classes, high altitude endurance event training, as well as personal and post physical therapy/rehab training. Avril has a very diverse business background with experience as a corporate employee working for very large international companies, as an educator and as a small business owner and operator. She is currently teaching health, wellness and physical fitness classes for Eastern New Mexico University as well as for her members at the Ruidoso Athletic Club. and fitness.

MFN Industry Expert