Memorial West offers an array of classes at its indoor heated pool. The water’s viscosity adds resistance to the exercises, and the warm temperature helps sooth the aches from arthritis.
“You are offloading some of this body weight. There is a force of buoyancy so you kind of float a little. You are not feeling gravity,” said Dr. Alan Novick, director of rehabilitative services at Memorial Healthcare System.
A fitness pool usually has a temperature of about 86 degrees; the pool at Memorial is heated to about 95 degrees, said Herzog.
“The difference of that is the warm water penetrates quickly to the joints, which is very beneficial for arthritis,” he said.
The exercises have helped 79-year-old Mark Cohn, who has arthritis and in 2007 had a hip replacement.
“When we cannot come we miss it very much,” he said. “Exercising for older people is critical and this is fun exercise.”
Baptist Health South Florida offers prenatal yoga for pregnant moms and low-impact aerobics for patients recovering from cancer.
‘Focused on Healing: Low Impact Aerobics’ has been successful for those recovering from breast cancer, said Suarez. Class exercises resemble a slow dance. The emphasis is on stretching and balance, much like tai chi. Patients also are supervised so they don’t lift their arms above their head, which can result in fluid retention.
At prenatal yoga, pregnant mothers do stretching exercises that help minimize back pain and muscle cramps associated with pregnancy, said Dr. Rafael Perez, medical director of the Fibroid Center. The class is appropriate for women at any stage of their pregnancy.
“There is the mental component of it as well that helps you relax,’’ he said.