How to Exercise When Mobility is Limited?
Mobility and Ageing
As we age we may find ourselves with certain ailments that make mobility difficult and life less pleasant. We feel less confident so our self-esteem suffers because of our lack to move or balance. This means for some, exercise can be a challenge!
The feeling of frustration can develop as we feel it to be a hopeless situation. But I am here to tell you that it needn’t be and there is certainly hope.
Today I want to share a secret tip that may help you to become active again, get your body moving and you feeling like the you that you once knew.
What’s the Secret?
You’ve probably seen people use floatation belts in aqua aerobics before? They are basically a foam belt that ties around the waist and keeps your body from sinking. What they do is they give you the ability to move gently around in the water using either your legs and arms (or both) and with no resistance which is the most important thing to take note of.
When you have less to no resistance, it makes it much easier and safer on your joints so you can still get the body moving and the blood circulating without impacting a single part of you.
And you know what? They are cheap to buy! In fact you can buy them on eBay for around $25.
Benefits of Using an Aqua Belt:
- Great for cardio health
- Increases circulation
- Strengthens the legs
- Creates better core strength
- Great social activity (join an aqua class)
- Nice solitary activity (very meditative)
- Keeps joints more fluid (gentle on joints)
You’re never too young or too ‘old’ to float
I got into this many years ago through my dear, late friend John O’Neill (creator of the best Q10 I have ever come across and why I decided to put it on my other website- Naturally Radiant). John said that many other brands of CoQ10 are made in such a way that they become inferior (only go through around 2-3 stages of fermentation as opposed to 13 stages). This process produces a superior quality of Q10 so it is said to be much more effective.
Anyways, back to how I found floating…
I met John many years back through a good friend as we soon became good friends. His knowledge of well being was incredible and I have honestly never seen a person in their 70’s in such good shape! John was ripped muscularly and could beat just about any young person in an arm wrestle.
He cycled a lot but his exercise of choice was using the aqua belt. I don’t even know really if the exercise has a name? It’s just movement in the water using your legs mostly while being supported by the device. Let’s call it Aqua Movement for the purpose of this blog.
Jason and I would go down each week through the summer and kick away with the more mature folks. I love older people, they have often have so much wisdom and tell funny stories about life and offer a different perspective.
So let me elaborate on the benefits mentioned above
Because water is much more dense than air, your heart will need to work harder when you work out with an aqua belt. You generally burn around 11.5 calories per minute. So if you’re not a fan of jogging outdoors (I don’t blame you!) give ‘Aqua Jogging’ a go. This is simply jogging in water and is much better on the joints than the hard impact you get from running on concrete.
As mentioned, your heart will be working harder so naturally this will help increase blood circulation and when your blood is circulating properly, you will not only be healthier but also feel better.
When you’re kicking in the water, you’ll feel a gentle resistance which helps build strength in your legs over time. The key is consistency (as it is with most things in life).
When wearing this device it has a natural tendency to push your body forward so this will require you to activate and engage your core muscles. You won’t even realise you’re getting an awesome ab workout!
If you’ve never tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing out on seriously! It sounds a bit daggy but who the heck cares? You can meet people or you can just do it by yourself and enjoy the serenity of some alone time. Heaven!
There really is no easier exercise in my opinion. Kicking your legs while being supported by the water takes all the stress out of it for your body.
You can join a local aqua class down at your local pool (if it’s not too far to travel). Or you may know someone in your neighbourhood who has a pool, pond or dam? Another option is using a large wading pool (obviously it needs to be reasonably deep so you can do this comfortably.
If you can’t find a group why not create your own Meet-up group through the ‘Meet-up’ app or you could create your own aqua group on Facebook and communicate that way. The possibilities are only limited by your mind.
It’s Solitary & Meditative
When I don’t feel like participating in the group float sessions I go down to our local estuary here in Currumbin and I love to float around and lie on my back with my eyes closed. I am honestly telling you, there is no other feeling like it! It is the most peaceful and still experience you will likely feel and that’s because your ears are underwater and your eyes are closed so you are completely at one with yourself and the universe.
It’s pure bliss!
Great for Joint Health
Using these devices gives you an exercise that’s kind to your joints. In my opinion (and I’m sure many Physio’s would agree) it’s much better than pounding the pavement and running. Running is pretty severe on the body long-term.
Rehabilitation & Mobility
When working out in the water in this way, the water naturally applies hydrostatic pressure to the body, therefore the flow of blood is stimulated which helps injuries to heal faster. Many people use these belts to help with rehabilitation from injuries (especially athletes), but people also use them simply to get more mobility back thus increasing their confidence and overall happiness.
So why not go out and grab yourself a floatation belt today and start feeling better and more confident than you have in years. You won’t regret it that’s for sure!
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is not health advice but rather me speaking from my own personal experience. If you do need medical attention or health advice please see your trusted health practitioner.