5 Pool Exercises for Seniors
Research has found that seniors who regularly participate in water exercise enjoy an increase in their agility, flexibility and strength, along with health benefits like better levels of total cholesterol. And the unique qualities of water — namely resistance and buoyancy — can provide you with an ideal workout while minimizing stress on aching joints, muscles and bones.
Even if you’re not participating in a formal water exercise class, you can improve your fitness in the pool on your own. Here are some of our favorite water exercises to get you started.
To build strength in your upper leg muscles, try leg swings. Stand by a pool wall with the water at least as deep as your lower back. Hold the pool edge as you swing your outer leg forward, and keep your leg straight. Maintain the extended-leg position for a count of five, then swing the leg behind you for another count of five. Turn and repeat with the other leg.
Water Jogging or Walking
Jogging or walking in water is a great low-impact exercise that gives your heart and entire body an aerobic workout. You can keep it very simple by jogging or walking across the pool, or you can walk or jog in place. This exercise will get your heart rate into the aerobic zone and keep it there.
In water up to about neck level, stand next to the pool edge so you can grab on if needed for balance. Extend one foot in front of you, and move the other a little behind you to keep you steady. With your arms straight to the sides just below the level of the water and your palms facing down, make circle motions. Go in one direction for 10 or 15 seconds, then change direction.
You can do this low-impact, aerobic exercise either with or without a kickboard. If you use a kickboard, hold it ahead of you as you flutter-kick your legs to help you scoot across the pool. To perform the exercise without a kickboard, float forward with your head above the water as you hold onto the side and kick your legs. Try to keep a steady pace that doesn’t wear you out too quickly but gets your heart rate up.
Last but not least, you can always swim! Regardless of your experience level or form, swimming remains one of the best overall workouts for your health and impacts your entire body: flexibility, muscle tone, strength, heart and lung function. Swimming is a low-impact form of exercise, and it can help you burn 500 or more calories in an hour.
If you haven’t spent time in a pool lately, consider wading in for a great workout that’s easy on your joints and immediately lifts your mood! Residents at Havenwood Heritage Heights enjoy access to the community’s pool, along with a variety of other engaging activities that enrich both mind and body. To learn more about living a healthful lifestyle at Havenwood Heritage Heights, please contact us.