As we age, our joints can become stiff, sore, and swollen. Joint pain and arthritis make working out the last thing many of us care to participate in. However, joint pain and arthritis can be reduced/relieved through water exercise. It also helps increase muscle mass and bone density.
Swimming, in general, can benefit older adults in the following ways:
- Experience a mental health boost and the opportunity for socialization with others
- Improve muscle tone and strength
- Increase your flexibility
- Reduce osteoporosis risks
- Swimming is gentle on your joints
- Experience heart health improvement
Other than simply swimming back and forth, many people opt for having fun – and still get physically fit – through water aerobics. When it comes to water aerobics exercises for aging adults, which ones are best?
With your water weights, stand in the middle of the pool for this exercise. These weights offer extra resistance but are not a necessity. With palms facing out, hold your arms in front of you (holding the weights, if you have them). Up and back down again, curl the weights, and do it until you feel somewhat fatigued. Rather than facing away from you, you can face your palms toward you but use the same curling motion.
Standing Water Push-Ups
Without experiencing too much joint pressure and strain, build shoulder, chest, and arm strength with water push-ups. At the outer edge of the pool, place your hands approximately shoulder-width apart. Lean in towards the wall, bending your arms, then push yourself back up. Once your arms feel tired, it’s okay to quit. You don’t want to push too hard.
All the muscles in your legs can be worked with leg lifts thanks to water resistance. Out to the side and back down, lift one leg while you stand in the pool. Until your legs feel tired, repeat the exercise. Then, using the other leg, perform the same exercise. This can strengthen your core, improve balance, and tone the muscles in your legs.
Use a kickboard, don’t use a kickboard – it’s up to you. Across the pool, propel yourself back and forth while kicking your legs and holding the kickboard out in front of you. If no kickboard is available, you can accomplish the same thing by kicking your legs and simply holding your head above water, from one side of the pool to the other. Not a strong swimmer? Hold onto the side of the pool. Just get that heart pumping!
To get your blood flowing and your heart pumping, one of the best low-impact, aerobic exercises is aqua jogging. From one side of the pool to the other, you simply “jog” in the water. Other alternatives to this include marching in place, walking back and forth across the pool, and other variations. Make sure it’s just a bit challenging, whichever modification you choose so that you get your heart rate up and keep it there.
Not Everybody likes the Water, So Here’s a Great Way to Stay Healthy and Active!
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