Water exercises for seniors are a great way to stay healthy and active. Swimming is one of the best water exercise routines because it works for all the major muscle groups in your body, no matter what movement you choose.
Here are three water exercises that are easy on joints yet provide a good workout!
3 Simple Water Exercises For Seniors
Seniors often utilize water exercises since the water has a dual purpose. Water is more buoyant on any achy joints for arthritis and it also provides resistance aside from gravity for strengthening muscles when you get the body moving.
What are the benefits of working out in the water?
- In the water is easier on your joints than on the land
- The water provides support, making it easy for people with limited mobility to participate in water exercises.
All you need is a simple swimming pool for the most popular water exercises that do the most good. Here are some movements that will get your blood pumping if your joints feel older and achy.
Just because you are in the water, that doesn’t mean you should over-exert yourself. You should still take it easy and don’t exercise beyond your means. If you get out of breath and need to take a break, by all means just relax your muscles and take it easy. The water will already help keep you cool as opposed to the warmer air.
It is actually easy to over-exercise in the water – as you are working more muscles and harder than you actually think you are. Moderation – and start slow and build up your time and level of workout gradually.
Simply walking in the water offers more resistance when you lift your legs than normal walking due to the weight of the water. When you swing your arms through the water you add more resistance to your arms as well.
Cupping your hands will increase the weight for your arms to move and improve your arm muscles beyond just lifting them when you walk normally. Your hands will push away more water offering better resistance for your forearms and elbow.
Walking in water is ideal if you have shaky legs or stiff joints and there is a fear of falling. If you fall in the water there is a much less chance of getting hurt even though you should still take it easy.
If you want to increase the workout – there are pool water gloves for your hands that will create more drag on the water. There are also foam leg cuff wraps that will help give your workout a boost.
The Aqua Gloves:
They’re very comfortable to wear, well made & I’ve already noticed a difference in conditioning since I started using them. The only thing I want to make sure to mention is the fact that they run larger. I use a large garden glove and take a medium in these.
These gloves are not waterproof. They are intended for aquatic fitness. The openings at the wrist and finger tips may allow water to be felt on your hand.
The leg cuffs are great:
- Aquatic ankle cuffs offer both floatation and weight resistance when used in water. Great for hydrotherapy, muscular development and aquatic training.
- Cuffs are designed for comfort and durability while providing resistance for leg workouts and water aerobics. They have adjustable straps for firm positioning and increased safety.
- They can be used as Arm Cuffs too! Arm Cuffs are a perfect solution to the needs of hydrotherapy and are ideal for personal use as well as structured, rehabilitation programs.
Using the wall of the pool for a push-up can be better for your arms than you think. Get in water that goes up to your shoulders and place your hand’s shoulder-width apart against the edge of the pool. Then push your arms up and down like you are doing a normal push-up.
The beauty of this exercise is that your entire body weight isn’t being held up by your arms. All you are doing is getting a light workout as you push against the water up against your back. This is a great exercise to get your arms and shoulders moving with little resistance so you can gradually work up your arm strength.
I don’t suggest you do this in that backyard above ground pool that has become very popular since COVID. Pushing on those walls will be bad for the integrity of your pool and possibly create a small flood in your yard.
Just For Kicks
You’ve seen little kids with their first swimming lesson that grab onto the edge of the pool, lay with their legs straight out, and kick the water. This elementary movement for swimming lessons is also a great workout for your legs, knees, and hips.
While you don’t need to splash up seafoam with every kick, you can kick along at your own pace according to how your joints and muscles feel. Even if you don’t splash water on the surface, the simple kicking motion will give your entire leg a workout.
If you have that above-ground backyard pool, I suggest you use that ladder to hang onto instead of the sidewall of that pool. Just like those push-ups, using that edge of a backyard pool could create a compromising issue with its structural integrity.
The beauty of all three of these exercises is that they can be done at your own pace with less risk for injury due to falls since the water will help keep you buoyant.
As with any exercise routine, having a partner with you is helpful in case you need assistance and encouragement. Consult with your physician if you plan on starting a water exercise routine or any physical workout to keep in shape.