If you’re a senior citizen, have high blood pressure, or have any problem with your joints, water aerobics may be one of the best forms of exercise for you. In addition to being low impact and non-weight bearing, water aerobics can help improve cognitive function and cardiovascular health.
Water aerobics is one of the best activities for seniors because it’s low-impact, easy on joints, and can be done with others in a group setting. This makes it perfect if you’re just looking to stay fit without putting your body under strain.
While water aerobics is wonderful, not all drills are created equal – some are better suited to beginners or those with physical limitations. For example, if you have joint issues or get dizzy easily, then some of them are not the best option.
So, to help get you started on this wonderful way to stay in shape without leaving your home, we put together a small selection of water aerobics exercises for seniors. Some may be performed standing or lying down, while others might have you hopping forward or resting your arms on the side of the pool.
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Benefits of Water Aerobics for Seniors
Water aerobics can be great for seniors for many of the same reasons its good exercise for anyone, but there are additional benefits of this type of exercise if you’re an older adult.
Water is a weightless environment, so your joints won’t have any stress put upon them when you’re exercising in the pool. That means that water workouts are great for people who have joint issues or high blood pressure. Because of this, water aerobic exercises are also good for people who want to improve their cognitive function, improving memory, and problem-solving skills.
The number one advantage of water aerobic exercises is that you can still do them while sitting on the couch or lying down in bed, so if you want to stay fit, but you can’t stand or walk anymore, then water aerobics might be the right activity for you.
Besides, water aerobics is so popular because it’s relaxing. Thanks to the gentle movements, the warm water, the rhythmic music, and the social atmosphere, you can get all of these benefits while still managing to enjoy yourself.
Lastly, water aerobics is an excellent social activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If you’ve got a friend or loved one who needs the motivation to get in shape, invite them along so you can work out together in the water.
8 Fun Water Aerobics Exercises for Seniors
If you are interested in finding out more about this particular workout or in trying it out for yourself, then here are some useful suggestions exercises to help you get started:
This exercise closely resembles walking on land with one major difference – you have to walk in the water. The water gives a kind of resistance to your walk and this makes it a bit more challenging. It exercises the hip muscles and is a good way for you to burn calories.
If possible, wear shoes that have a rubber sole. Stand up straight and then lean forward slightly, bending your knees about 10 degrees. Take forward steps while swinging your arms in front of you for balance. Remember do not let your knees stay bent for too long.
No Jogging Machine is required. This exercise consists of alternating your legs as you walk in the water. The hips are used to provide momentum to keep the body moving forward. These exercises can be done daily and improve the strength and endurance of the lower back and thigh muscles.
To perform the exercise, swing your arms in front of you in a wide motion, keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground. Bring your right leg forward in front of you, keeping the knee slightly bent and the foot about shoulder-width apart. Continue to alternate legs in this manner for 30 seconds or more.
Use the arms to provide momentum as you walk in the water. This exercise requires little effort but will build strength in the arms, shoulders, and upper back muscles.
To perform the exercise, swing your arms forward as you take a step forward, about shoulder-width apart. At the same time, bend from the elbow and curl your arms up towards your chest. Continue to alternate arms as you walk backward, first bending one arm and then the other. Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds or more.
Standing Water Push-ups
This exercise consists of pushing against the water with your hands grasped in front of you. This exercise improves agility, balance ability, and coordination.
To do this exercise, stand with knees slightly bent when in form. When you are ready to start the push-up series, place your hands on the water’s edge in front of you and lower yourself down onto your toes (not letting your knees bend). With arms straight and elbows locked, raise yourself back up to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.
These exercises can be done daily and improve the strength and endurance of the lower back and thigh muscles.
Stand in the water with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your toes slightly, keeping your heels firmly planted on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and then lower down slowly without bending at the knees or knees or leaning forward over the toes. Repeat until you feel the muscle strain in your calves.
This exercise works the lower body muscles of the thighs, glutes, core, and upper body. This exercise is done by flapping your legs up and down. You can speed up or slow down according to your strength level.
To perform the exercise, using your arms to help you swim, swim in a straight line while staying on one side of the pool. At the end of each stroke, bring your legs underwater and flutter them up and down for 30 seconds or more. Remember to exhale at the end of each stroke, and breathe regularly during the exercise.
Side Leg Lift
This exercise strengthens the hip muscles and increases stamina. It also increases balance and coordination, as well as endurance.
Raise your right leg out to the side and behind you while keeping your leg straight and kicking with the toe. Make sure you keep your foot flat on the ground. Continue raising and lowering your leg for 30 seconds or more. Then switch legs and repeat.
No hula hoop is required. This exercise is performed by “skipping” rope in the water, using your hands instead of your knees. It improves the strength and endurance of the back muscles as you use them to keep your body moving forward while keeping the arms in constant motion up and down.
Begin by holding your arms, palms up, out in front of you and keeping them straight. Bend your knees and push off the ground with your feet. Allow your hands to swing down as though you were skipping rope on land. Quickly bring the hands back up as though you were grabbing a rope and pulling it down with both hands. Continue the motion for 30 seconds or more.
All water aerobics exercises are designed to help your body move smoothly and evenly in the water without problems such as spasms, cramps, or strained muscles. Water provides greater resistance than land exercise because of its buoyancy and relatively high gravitational pull. Water aerobics exercise also eliminates the drag that surfaces such as sand or gravel may cause when you exercise on land.
While all of these exercises can be done alone, it is recommended that you follow the advice of a personal trainer who will help you mix up your routine to keep your strength and endurance high.
Tips for Starting Your Water Aerobics Exercises
One major concern among seniors is whether or not they’ll be able to hold their breath during water aerobics exercise. Most people don’t have problems breathing during their workouts, but some seniors may have more difficulty than others. If you have concerns about holding your breath, talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.
If you’re new to this type of exercise, it’s important that you don’t jump right into it by yourself. You should always warm up your body before any activity and cool down afterward, which will help avoid injury. Start with exercises that are easier to learn and gradually work your way up to more complex maneuvers.
Once you’re comfortable, slowly increase the length of time that you spend in the water. Many seniors also prefer to wear a bathing suit while performing water aerobics. You’ll be more comfortable and you’ll be able to move around the pool more easily when you’re wearing a bathing suit.
Lastly, it’s important that you stay hydrated while performing water aerobics exercise. You’ll lose a large amount of water through sweat, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout session. Before you begin your exercise routine, check with your doctor for his or her specific recommendations.
Is it safe for seniors to exercise in water?
Yes. Water provides more buoyancy than air. This means that your body is better supported -and hence less stressed- underwater. Water also has a cooling effect, which allows you to exercise for longer periods of time.
How to warm-up for water aerobics?
Warm up by walking on land for 5 minutes. Get into the pool and swim for 10 minutes. Walk around in the pool for 2-3 minutes while stopping to occasionally do some stretches using your arms and legs.
How to cool-down at the end of your water aerobics session?
Cool down by walking on land for 5 minutes. When you come out of the pool, walk on land for 5 minutes before beginning your cool-down exercises.
How to stretch in water?
Take a deep breath in and then breathe out when you are in the middle of a position to help control your movements. Consult with an instructor if you have any questions about how to perform these exercises correctly.
How long should I do each exercise?
Complete each exercise for about 1 minute. The exercises can be repeated 2-3 times.
How often should I workout?
It is recommended that you exercise at least 3 times per week to get the best results. If possible, try to work out 5 times per week.
What equipment do I need to perform water aerobics?
Water aerobics equipment is not required. You can do these exercises without the aid of any equipment. When you are ready to perform the exercise, simply enter or exit the pool by jumping up and down or using a push-up board, depending on your ability.
What clothes do I need to prepare for water exercise?
Wear a bathing suit or a swimming suit that is designed for water. It should cover your body from the neck down and it should be one piece. Get a new bathing suit every year as they often become damaged if you do not take care of them. Use a waterproof spray to wash your bathing suit and make sure to dry it immediately after you finish exercising in the water.