Staying active is essential to your health, no matter your age. But when you’re in retirement, pain & mobility issues may limit you from doing activities you once enjoyed. Fortunately, there’s still a way for you to stay active, and that’s water aerobics.
What Are the Benefits of Water Aerobics?
The key benefit of water aerobics, especially for seniors, is that they’re low-impact. Exercising in the swimming pool puts less stress on your joints due to the water’s natural buoyancy. You don’t have to worry much about getting injured while moving your entire body. Also, water provides resistance as you move through it. That can help you gain muscle strength and increase your overall stamina.
5 Water Aerobics Activities to Help You Get Started
As you spend your retirement days catching up with friends & family, or gardening at home, try incorporating some pool exercises into your schedule. Here are some of the ideal routines to introduce you to water aerobics:
Walking or jogging in the water is the best one to start with, as it may be the easiest water aerobics exercise for seniors. Depending on your fitness level, you can start walking in the shallow part of the pool from one wall to the other and back again. You’ll notice that the water’s resistance makes walking a bit harder—but without pain. Once you’re comfortable in this activity, you can increase the laps or the number of times you walk from one wall to another. You can even level up and go jogging across the pool. But make sure to consult your doctor before increasing your activity level.
Calf raises are an effective way to stretch and strengthen your legs—and they’re easy to pull off when you’re in a swimming pool. All you have to do is stand with your feet flat on the pool floor and ensure your arms are down at your sides. Then, slowly raise yourself onto your toes. If you can, hold that position for two or more seconds. Next, lower your feet back down gently and repeat the raises a few more times. Need help staying balanced? Do this activity while holding onto the pool edge.
For this activity, make sure you’re standing in water deep enough so when you bend your knees, your head and neck will be above water while your shoulders are submerged. Once you ensure that, start with a staggered stance and bend your knees. Then, extend your arms out on both sides while keeping your elbows straight. After that, move your arms forward until your palms meet together. Think of it as if you’re pushing the water in front of you. Then, reverse the arm movement with your palms facing away from each other as if you’re pulling the water back to the sides. That’s one rep of a chest fly. Repeat that ten times or as long as you’re comfortable.
Have you always enjoyed doing push-ups but can no longer do them in recent years? Go to the pool and try to perform wall push-ups. Begin by putting your hands on the pool wall more than shoulder-width apart. Then, lean into the wall and push out while keeping your feet firmly on the floor. Ensure you’re close enough to the wall to avoid losing your balance or locking your elbows as you push back out.
Do ten of these wall push-ups at the start. Then, as you gain strength over time, try to do two or more repetitions of ten wall push-ups with 30-second rests between sets.
A wall chair is one of the more difficult pool exercises for seniors. After all, it requires flexibility, core stability and upper body strength. Do it only if you have increased your fitness level and are comfortable with added intensity in your pool workouts.
Start by standing with your back to the pool wall. Then, use both hands to reach and hold onto the wall behind you. Once you’ve got a firm grasp on the wall, begin releasing your feet from the pool floor and bending your knees up to your chest. Hold that sort of floating position for five to ten seconds before putting your feet back on the pool floor. You can repeat the entire movement ten times.
Don’t Forget to Check in with Your Physician
You can increase the intensity of the pool workouts mentioned above by adding simple equipment, such as ankle weights, hand paddles and pool noodles. But before you start any new exercise routine or increase the intensity level, make sure to check in with your primary doctor. If you feel pain or discomfort while performing any pool exercise, modify it by consulting with your doctor & trainer. Be sure to talk to your estate lawyer if you are at all worried about changes in your health.
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