Seniors often become victims of joint pain and their bones become weaker as they age. This creates an obstruction to follow regular land-based exercises. However, seniors with weaker bones or joint pains can easily perform water exercises. These exercises have a lower impact to the bones and joints but is considered more powerful cardio workout for seniors. Water provides a great resistance so you are working your heart without overheating your body. So choosing water exercises over land based exercises is a perfect solution for both strength training and aerobic exercises for seniors.
Warm Up – Before starting any exercise, warm up for 10 to 15 minutes. To warm up you can walk in water; for instance walk 10 steps forward and take back 5 steps. While doing this you can stretch your hands and legs to prepare yourself for other exercises.
Leg Swings – To strengthen your upper leg’s muscles, you can perform leg swings. To do this:
Stand in one side of the pool by holding onto the edge of the pool
Make sure that the water reaches your lower back
Holding the edge now swing one leg forward and maintain the position for at least 5 to 7 seconds
Now swing the other leg, keeping the other leg straight.
Add 5 to 7 repetitions and then increase it as and when you get comfortable with the exercise.
Arm Circles – This exercise aims to improve to arm muscles. To perform:
Go into pool with water up to your neck
Take your position next to the pool’s edge and line your foot in one direction, with other foot a little stretched at the back for maintaining balance.
Raise your right arm and start making circular motions for about 10 to 15 seconds then switch it to the other direction.
If you feel pain, take rest of 10 seconds and start again. The pain will reduce as you practice.
Kicks in Water – You’d probably have noticed how kids are trained for swimming. Their first step is to grab on the pool’s edge or rod, lay with their legs spread out and just kick the water. This is also an effective water exercise for seniors. To do this:
Hold on to the edge of the pool
Just bend down a little so that your legs automatically comes to the water surface
Start kicking but don’t do it too fast or you’ll get tired or may suffer from muscle tightening. Start slowly and do 2 to 3 repetitions with 10 to 12 kicks in each repetition.
Consult Your Physician
As with any land-based workout routine, having a partner is very helpful in case you need some help and encouragement. Before starting with any water exercise for seniors, always consult your physician. If you find it difficult to cope with water exercises on your own, you can join a club which has a program for water exercises for seniors.