Curious? I hope this title has ignited your curiosity as to how this applies to our students in the water.

The Mature Moves series continues with Mobility Matrix.
Mobility is the ability to move freely and easily.
Matrix is a system in which something grows or develops.  In this case, it will be our choreography and progressions that promote movement and functionality of the joints of the aging body.

Aging can bring problems with both joint mobility and full body mobility. Also, postural changes can be an issue with the aging body favoring flexion over extension, resulting in pain and discomfort. This program focuses on orthopedic issues and how a water exercise program can minimize pain and discomfort, and possibly prevent further medical issues and resulting interventions.

In Mobility Matrix, movement patterns in all planes of motion help ensure joint integrity and muscle balance throughout the entire body. The goal is to practice movements required to fully engage in an active life style, and ensure that most ADLs are comfortably achievable. Pool applications include general mobilization of joints with innovative gait preparation exercises followed by eclectic functional movements patterns. Essential balance activities plus the final segment – involving a travel challenge – provides a complete exercise prescription for the aging body.

And this is more than just a concept. My students (60-85 years of age) are reporting wonderful improvements in their mobility and pain level. They also feel that the music motivates them to work optimally, yet individually. I have chosen a variety of age appropriate music that includes swing, classical, and the always popular 60s, 70s, and 80s. Using a tempo of approximately 126 BPM ensures that moves are executed to full range of motion by a wide range of participants.

In addition to my students, I have been inspired by others to develop aquatic programming that accommodates the aging body. Ruth Sova has written and presented on the topic of extension and function, while Scott Sonnen has an excellent book, Free To Move. In this IAFC session, I will also share some of the research from “The Health and Well-Being Benefits of Swimming and Aquatic Exercise”, published in June of this year by Swim England.

I do hope that you will come and hear this latest information regarding the exercise that we know is so effective and enjoyable, and that can ease our bodies comfortably and effectively into old age. Join me to experience those “New Moves”.

AUTHOR Steph Toogood is the UK AEA training specialist and the founder of Hydro-Actif Ltd – the UK’s leading team of water exercise educators. Steph has 30 years of experience teaching and creating water exercise programs focusing on aging well. She is a well-respected presenter for AEA, HYDRO-FIT, IDEA and ATRI and has created, demonstrated and produced 11 fitness videos. Steph received the AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional global award in 2004.

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