Even if you just start with light training, in the company of a caregiver who knows his way around the water or an instructor, water aerobics for seniors have lots of physical and psychological benefits.
Water exercises are low-impact and thus reduce the risk of more stress or injuries.
Water buoyancy also helps soothe pain so you can exercise freely.
What Are Water Aerobics Exercises?
Water aerobics exercises for seniors are aerobic activities done in shallow waters such as in your swimming pool.
They are part of resistance training and you do them mainly in water that’s averagely waist-high (though you can also deeper).
A good example is water walking.
Benefits Of Water Aerobics For Seniors.
- Improved Mental Well-Being
By participating in water aerobics exercises for elderly, seniors have an enjoyable activity to look forward daily. This brings positivity and can be a stress buster.
Being an aquatic can also stimulate the release of the happy hormones- endorphins, thereby increasing happiness.
- Water Exercises Increase Strength
Muscle loss which occurs with age can decrease strength. Some water exercises for seniors like swimming works major muscles simultaneously preventing muscle loss and helping to restore your strength.
- Better Heart Condition
Water aerobics workouts for seniors improve your endurance, circulation, and works your heart helping the cardiovascular function.
There is evidence that this helps decrease the risk of suffering heart disease.
- Reduced Exposure To Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis (porous bone) makes your bones weak and at risk of breaking from a fall. Or even from sneezing! Swimming as exercise for older adults may enhance your bone marrow which helps prevent osteoporosis.
- You Become Agile
Water aerobics for senior citizens like swimming involves dozens of muscles at once. This increases your entire body’s flexibility.
You will feel more responsive in the neck, arms, legs, and back.
- Promotes Better Posture
Diverse pool exercises for older adults helps with posture over time. When you maintain good posture, the body functions the way it’s expected. Your muscles also remain perfectly balanced and working to improve your overall physical condition.
- Helps Cure Some Ailments
Apart from reducing their risk of various diseases, water aerobics classes for seniors can help you recover from some illnesses.
By helping with posture, swimming may heal back pain. In fact, each and every one of the activities in our water aerobics exercises list can help either minimize memory loss, lessen sleep disorders, reduce blood pressure, and aid heart disease by decreasing cholesterol.
- Helps with Balance
Almost all activities that keep you moving, such as water walking exercises for seniors can help you sustain good balance. Besides, customized water exercises improve your stability and coordination.
You are thus less likely to slip and fall.
- Helps Improve Quality Of Life.
Like other exercise, water activities help reduce pain on pressure points, improves your physical functioning, raises your moods, and mental well-being.
Overall, you will enjoy a higher quality of life.
A Detailed List of Simple and Fun Water Aerobics Exercises For Seniors.
You can start small and grow into aerobics. Here are some ideas:
1. Water walking
In water walking, you dive into the pool where water reaches around your waist, then walk across swinging your arms as if you’re walking on land.
- Keep your back straightened for posture.
- Tighten your entire abdominal muscles (so as not to lean forward or to the sides).
- Don’t walk on your tiptoes.
What to have:
- Hand webs (or any other resistance device): wear to improve hand resistance.
- Water shoes: wear them to enhance traction.
Once you master light walking, you can venture into deeper waters. Remember to add the following item if going deep:
- Flotation vest (float belt): This is for your safety if you’re not yet a competent swimmer.
- Water noodle: place it between your legs and higher in the back than front. It will help you remain above the water.
Walking in water provides resistance, forcing your muscles to work harder to step forward. It also provides buoyancy which reduces strain to the joints.
2. Standing Water Push-ups
Stand around 2 cm from the edge of the poolside. Then place your hands- slightly wider than your shoulder width- on the pool edge (your feet should not be touching the bottom).
Now bend your arms as you lean in towards the wall. Immediately push yourself back out.
Redo the steps slowly until your arms tire.
Water push-ups are a softer way to build strength
3. Arm Curls
Preferably, with water weights stand in the center of the pool. Well, water weights aren’t a must but they do provide extra resistance.
Hold your water weights in front with arms in front. The palms should be facing out. Now curl your weights up and then back down.
Repeat this until fatigue. It’s also possible to do the arm curls with palms facing towards you rather than facing out.
Arm curls strengthen your forearm.
4. Chest Fly
You can perform this with water weights (or without).
Stand in water chest-high in height. Then hold your arms out in front at chest height, palms facing each other but sitting just under the water surface.
Now push your arms outwards to the side then back center.
Repeat until fatigue.
Chest fly helps gets your heart rate up without pressurizing your joints. Weights build strength.
5. Flutter Kicking
You can do this either with a kickboard (or without).
With a kickboard:
Hold the kickboard out in front then flutter kick the legs. This will thrust you back/forth in the pool.
Without a kickboard:
With your head safely above water, perform a standard front float. Then hold onto the edge of the swimming pool and flutter kick the legs at a steady tempo.
This way, you won’t tire quickly.
Flutter kicking gets your heart rate up.
6. Leg Lifts
A super easy exercise water aerobic exercise, this works all the leg muscles.
Standing in the pool (waist high), lift one of your legs towards the front or out sideways then back down.
Repeat until the leg grows tired.
Now switch to the remaining leg and repeat the exercise.
Leg lifts strengthening your core and improving balance.
Swimming is an outstanding low-impact exercise for seniors. At the right pace, you’ll burn more calories than some of the aerobics exercises (about 600 per hour) and increase your heart rate.
Leisurely swimming is also enjoyable though it may not be effective for your heart.
Swimming delivers a superb cardiovascular workout. It also works other parts of your body and will improve your heart and lungs condition while building muscle strength.
8. Calf Raises
Stand in water waist-deep and near the ladder or close to the edge (of the pool).
Now shift your body weight forward and to the balls (of your feet). Next, elevate your heels and stand on the toes. You can hold for a couple of seconds before lowering your heels.
Keep repeating until you can no longer take it.
Calf raises promote lower body strength
You jog through the water starting from one edge of the pool finishing on the other end.
Keep moving back and forth. You can also try marching or any other modification you are comfortable in to make it more challenging.
Be careful not to push yourself too much.
Jogging amplifies the heart rate and helps blood to flow throughout the body.
10. Arm Circles
Find a spot along the edge where water can reach your neck. Stand in water one foot in the front and the other behind you.
Raise your arms out towards the side till they are just beneath the water surface. Then, keeping arms straight and palms down, move the arms but this time in a circular way.
Continue moving them in the circular motion for several seconds- in one direction- then repeat in the alternate direction.
If possible, make the circles at a more rigorous pace as you progress.
Arm circles work the upper body raising the heart rate while strengthening the shoulders and your upper back.
Water Exercises For Seniors With Arthritis
Water aerobics exercises can help if you are struggling with arthritis.
- First, they are among the best less impact exercises thanks to the water buoyancy and don’t hurt your joints.
- They help relieve joint pain especially if you work out in a heated pool.
- Lastly, they help work on your muscles strengthening various parts of your body.
Recommended Workouts for Athritis:
In consultation with your doctor and trainer, you can find the following exercise helpful:
- Leg lifts: These strengthen your core in addition to helping leg muscles.
- Walking in water: Enhances resistance naturally.
- Yoga: Done in water, Yoga is even more awesome. You will experience less joint pain, higher flexibility, reduced stress, and promotes better sleep.
Water Exercises For Knees
If you also have knee problems, your doctor may recommend water therapy for arthritic knees.
Whatever the cause of your knee struggles, water-based exercises can be helpful.
- Pool exercises for knee pain may help make you stronger meaning you’re better protected against a renewed inflammation.
- Water aerobics exercises care for the joints helping to make your knee fully mobile.
- Exercise strengthens crucial leg muscles that support your knee.
Recommended Water Exercise for Bad Knees:
- Walking in Water: It has minimal impact and is weight-bearing t so it helps build bones and strengthen muscles around the bad knee.
- Leg lifts: These can also help strengthen your knee joint.
Criteria For The Best Senior Water Aerobics Near Me
Most trainers are incorporating pool exercises for seniors in their programs and schedule dedicated senior water classes.
How To Get A Class:
To start off, you can search for “exercise classes for seniors near me” on the internet and check the tons of results grouped under “senior water aerobics near me”
How To Identify The Best Facility:
Now that you are new, which of these centers should you choose?
Here is what you need to check:
Often times, seniors struggle with movement and will certainly appreciate a facility conveniently located to ease your movements.
This is especially true if you can’t drive for long.
- Training Hours
Knowing the classes schedule will help you decide if the facility’s timing matches your daily timetable.
The opening hours should be such that they allow time to spend in other chores and family.
- Safety Measures
Water can be dangerous especially if you are new to swimming. Most professional trainers, however, provide essential poolside safety accessories such as flotation vests.
Don’t take it for granted so ask.
- Range of Exercises Offered
A wide range of exercises gives you a better chance of achieving results since you can swap exercises if you feel that one is not working.
The centers and trainers don’t have the same offering so check if your favored program has what you need.
- Testimonials and Reviews
A great way of foretelling the level of quality is by seeking out testimonials from other elders who have gone through water aerobics classes in the center.
Referrals from fellow senior citizens engaged in such fitness programs.
Also, read online reviews where possible.
- Experience/ Qualifications
A personal trainer who has handled seniors in other fitness programs is likely to be more patient and skilled in his art than newcomers.
You can also ask about his/her certifications and affiliations.
Similarly, trainers who have offered water aerobics sessions for a while are better equipped to meet your needs.
Water Aerobics Exercises for seniors: FAQs
Q: Can You Lose Weight By Doing Water Aerobics?
A: Since water naturally creates resistance for our bodies, any exercise you perform in the pool consumes calories so you will gradually lose weight.
Based on your pace, you can actually burn up to 600 calories just performing various water aerobic exercises.
Q: How Often Should You Do Water Aerobics?
A: To lose weight, you need to be as frequent as possible. However, a minimum of 3 to 4 times per week will help.
Q: Are Water Aerobics Good If I Have An Existing Health Condition?
It’s always advisable to consult your doctor before any new workout routine.
That being said, water aerobics are great for your heart, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Water aerobics exercises for seniors are a fantastic alternative to traditional exercises.
They improve your heart, burn calories, offer relief from joint pains, and help with arthritis.
In addition, the exercises are easier even for people who struggle with conventional exercises.
You can start off with a local trainer and with a lighter exercise before upping your game.
Whatever your choice, performing water aerobics exercises for seniors consistently will set you on your way to improved health despite your age.