Seniors often ignore exercise because their joints may hurt, you have arthritis and aches and pains are common. Even walking may be too tough on some seniors. It’s a chore to start an exercise routine when in pain, however, the pool can offer the right environment for a pain-free workout.
Pool exercises for seniors make sense because they:
- Relieve joint pain
- Increase bone density
- Increase muscle mass
- Relieve arthritis
You can start pool exercises today and quickly start enjoying the benefits of working in the pool with these five hours.
1. Pool Jogging
Aerobic exercise is a key component of losing weight, burning fat and getting your blood flowing. If you’re a senior, you know how quickly your joints start to ache and your feet begin to swell after physical activity.
High impact exercises do not work well for your body.
But water jogging is an option.
When you jog, you get your heart pumping and improve blood swell. Swelling and minor aches often disappear with a few jogging sessions per week. The great news is that aqua jogging is very low impact, so it leads to fewer aches and pain.
You can begin your water jogging by following this quick guide:
- Engage in a light jog from one end of the pool to another
You don’t need to complicate things. If you need extra balance, stay near the edge of the pool and hold on. Always make sure that the job is challenging, so if it’s too easy, pick up the pace and try sprinting.
2. Standing Marches
Your hip flexors are very small muscles that require increased exercise as you age. If your hip flexors start to weaken, you’ll find it more difficult to lift your leg and may even trip when you walk – all dangerous for a senior.
The good news is that all you need to do is march.
- Raise your knee up as high as possible into the air
- Switch sides
You can do this exercise for fifteen repetitions for three sets.
3. Leg Lifts
Since you’re already working on increasing your leg strength, it may be worthwhile to work your entire leg. Pools provide just the right amount of resistance for leg lifts that work most of the muscles in the legs. Keeping your legs strong is important to your balance and mobility.
Water resistance ensures that the muscles are able to have time under tension to promote growth.
What you’ll want to do is:
- Stand with one side against the pool
- Lift one leg outward in a sideways motion
- Bring your leg back to standing
You’ll want to perform this exercise on both legs for three sets of fifteen, or until you’re tired. If you continue doing this exercise, you’ll start to notice that your hip muscles have strengthened.
But you can also modify this exercise to use your glutes.
The idea is to lift your leg straight backward. The resistance of the water will help work your glutes, which are great for balance.
4. Gentle Swimming
If you’re in the pool, why not go for a swim? Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout, and a simple breaststroke can help you work your:
- Upper back
- Mid back
If you choose to use the front crawl stroke to swim, you’ll put extra tension on your arm muscles to work your deltoids, biceps and triceps all at the same time. When using a breaststroke kick, you’ll also work your glutes and quadriceps.
All of these muscles are essential for walking, swimming and mobility.
5. Bicep Curls
Weights for the pool do exist. The goal is to use these weights to add just a little extra resistance to your workout. You can use wrist or ankle weights to make any of the exercises mentioned a little harder to perform.
If you want to work your bicep muscles, you’ll simply hold onto the weight and perform a curl with your feet apart and your back straight.
- Holding the weight down with your palm out and the weight near your knees
- Curling the weight upward towards your chin
- Lowering the weight back down slowly
You can perform this exercise for 10 – 15 reps for sets of 3 or more, depending on how you feel.
6. Front and Side Shoulder Raises
Shoulder muscles play a very important part in everyday life. If you want to lift objects over your head or grab a jar from the cabinet, you will need to use your shoulder muscles. The good news? You can perform shoulder exercises using weights – or without them.
You’ll want to remain in the same stance as when performing a bicep curl, but this time, you’ll want to keep your hands down by your side with your fingertips pointing to the ground.
Simply lift your arms sideways to form a 90-degree angle.
If you want to perform a front shoulder raise, you’ll want to keep your hands in front of your legs, palm facing your body and fingertips facing the ground. Lift your arms straight out in front of you until they’re even with your eyes.
Simply lower your arms back down to perform one repetition of either exercise.