Water Exercises for Seniors
Few people get excited at the thought of exercise, but many people do genuinely look forward to spending time in the pool. One of the great benefits of water exercise is that it doesn’t feel like exercise in the same way something like cardio or weight lifting outside of the water does. It’s fun and it results in a killer workout.
For seniors it’s an especially appealing option, because it’s…
- An exercise that seniors struggling with arthritis can do without pain.
- Great for strength training. Since the water provides greater resistance, you build more muscle faster – something that’s harder to manage as you age.
- Low-impact, so seniors with health problems that would keep them from other types of exercise can often still pull off water exercise.
- Great for balance. A fall can have much greater consequences for a senior than it does for someone younger. The buoyancy of the water makes it good for practicing balance (and a safe place to do so since you don’t have to worry about a fall while in the water).
And did we mention it’s fun and manages not to really feel like exercise?
5 Types of Water Exercise Good for Seniors
Water exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. You’ll notice a lot of the items on our list sound pretty similar to exercises you’d do on land – just with “water” thrown in.
You can’t have a list of exercises you can do in the water without swimming. It’s the most obvious option and one that will give you a reliably good workout every time. To keep up some variety, try out different swimming strokes that provide a different workout each time.
2. Water Aerobics
Sign up for a local water aerobics class. You’ll end up learning lots of different moves you can do in the water to get a solid workout and probably get to make some new friends along the way.
3. Water Walking
This one doesn’t require much explanation – go for a walk back and forth in the water. Because of the resistance, you’ll get a better workout from walking in the water than you would from doing so on land.
4. Aquatic Strength Training
You may be noticing a bit of theme here – when you do the same workouts in the water that you do on land, you get extra benefits from them because of the resistance. The same thing goes for strength training. It’s harder to keep up your muscles as you age, so grab some water weights and take your strength-training workout to the pool.
5. Aquatic Balance Exercises
A fall becomes much scarier as you enter your senior years, but doing balance exercises becomes more precarious for the same reasons. Check to see if you can find tai chi, pilates, or yoga classes in the water to help you with your balance. Not only does the water resistance mean you get more balance practice, but you don’t have to worry about risking a dramatic fall during class.
The best exercise for you to do is whatever one you’ll stick with. If one of the things that turns you off to exercising is getting hot and sweaty, there’s hope for you yet. Water exercise removes some of the most unpleasant parts of exercise from the equation, without sacrificing any of the benefits. See what options are available in your area and get started.