Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean it’s okay to be less active.
Next to morning walks around the block, seniors looking to get some quality exercise can include the swimming pool in their everyday routine.
There are various advantages of working out in the pool. Water aerobics and other exercises performed in the water encourage you to stay active without putting excess pressure on the joints. Next to providing the right amount of resistance for working out muscles and joints, the buoyancy of the water makes pool activities “low-impact” which are ideal for older folks with arthritis, joint pain, and weak, brittle bones.
To boost strength and mobility despite the age, here are 7 pool activities worth adding to your weekly workout routine. Seek the advice of your physician before doing these pool exercises.
Aqua jogging is a great aerobic yet low-impact exercise for oldies to get their heart pumping and blood flowing.
• The workout is simple: jog through the water from one side of the pool to the other, as if you’re doing it on dry land.
• For a more simplified version, you may simply walk back and forth in the pool.
Unlike jogging on land, the resistance from the water makes the exercise extra challenging, which helps boost your strength.
Next, to aqua jogging, you can also get your whole body moving and boost your heart rate without actually leaving your place.
• Find a spot where the water reaches your chest.
• Stand straight and extend your arms and legs in a marching position.
• March with energy. Aim for a rhythmic march at a steady pace.
Arm circles are a nice, easy way to work your upper body.
• Find a pool area where the water is up to your neck.
• Stand next to the edge, just in case you need to catch your balance. Keep your balance by putting one foot forward and the other backward.
• Raise your arms out to your side. Keep arms straight, with palms down, and start making circling motions with your arms.
• Move your arms in a circular motion for 10-15 seconds in one direction, then another 10-15 seconds in the opposite direction.
Level up your upper body workout with arm curls, an exercise where you’ll be needing a pair of water weights.
• Stand in the middle of the pool.
• Hold the water weights directly out in front of you, with palms facing out. You can also perform arm curls with palms facing toward you, like a traditional bicep curl exercise.
• Curl the weights up and down.
• Repeat until your arms are fatigued.
The water resistance makes the exercise more challenging yet more effective.
Leg swings help strengthen your upper legs and keep your hips flexible and strong.
• Stand at one side of the pool, with water up to at least your lower back.
• Hold onto the pool edge.
• Swing your outside leg forward as far as you can and hold it for five seconds while keeping it straight.
• Swing your outside leg backward, and hold it for five seconds as well.
• Repeat in both motions for 10 to 15 times and do it on the other side.
Amp up your heart rate with flutter kicks, a great low-impact cardio exercise. You can perform this exercise with or without a kickboard.
If you’re using a kickboard:
• Hold the kickboard in front of you.
• Propel yourself back and forth across the pool by flutter kicking your legs.
If you’re not using a kickboard:
• Hold onto one side of the pool and perform a front float with your head above the water.
• Do flutter kicks with your legs
Flutter kicks can tire you out, so make sure to kick at a steady pace to avoid getting exhausted too quickly.
If you want a rewarding low-impact, full body workout in the pool, look no further – grab your goggles and swim cap, and go for a swim.
Swimming improves not only the muscle strength but also your heart and lung function. You may go for a leisurely swim. But if you need to raise your heart rate and boost your whole body flexibility and strength, move at a more challenging pace and swimming stroke.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Swimprint, a go-to shop for swimming enthusiasts, specializing in swim caps in the UK. While she’s fascinated by writing articles focused on sports fashion, health, and wellness, she swears to never give up pizza.