What activity is a lot of fun, good for you, and keeps you cool when temperatures soar? Spending time in a lovely swimming pool like the one we offer at St. Mark Village!
Grab your beach towel and check out these easy pool exercises for seniors.
Why are pool exercises for seniors so beneficial?
Remember how fit and happy Frankie and Annette looked when they were near the water? There’s a reason. In the water, you are exercising with low impact to your body, especially your joints, but you still have the resistance that water provides. Even though it feels easier to do a movement, you’re actually working harder than if you were on dry land – and that’s a very good thing.
Pool exercises for seniors are an ideal way to raise your heart rate while being gentle on your joints. You feel lighter; there’s less pressure on your knees. That’s great news for anyone with arthritis or sciatica. And pool exercises for seniors also help you build better balance.
Here’s a quick list of the many benefits of exercising in the pool:
- Increased metabolism
- Improved balance
- Decreased fall risk
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Decreased stress
- Increased strength
- Increased endurance
- Increased flexibility
- Improved agility
- Lower cholesterol levels
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Ready to take the plunge? Try these easy pool exercises for seniors:
Remember, water shoes can help prevent slipping and give you solid footing, and a buoyancy belt can keep you stable if you progress from shallow to deeper water.
- Water walking. Walking in water is a great way to begin. Start by simply walking in the shallow end from one side to the other. Keep your shoulders aligned over hips and hands at your sides. Increase your speed as you feel comfortable. You’ll feel the pull of the water, but without pain.
- Going backwards. The Arthritis Foundation reports that research from Japan shows that walking backward in the water engages more muscles, especially around the spine, quads and shins, while also boosting heart rate. As you walk backwards, push water behind you with your hands.
- Marching in place. Because you’re working a bit harder to control your arms and legs, you are building strength. Keep your arms close to your body, raise one leg and then the other, landing on the ball of your foot first and then your heel.
- Flutter kicks. Hold on to the side of the pool and let your legs and feet drift upward. Kick your feet up and down in gentle, controlled motions. Keep your body as straight as possible and your feet together. You also can kick with your legs as well as your feet, which will help increase leg strength.
- Wall push-ups. While you’re close to the wall, try this one. Put your hands about shoulder-width apart on the wall, then push out. Stay close enough to the wall to avoid losing your balance. Do approximately 10, then as you progress, increase to 2 or 3 sets of 10. This is one of the easiest pool exercises for seniors and one that works on balance, strength, and endurance.
- Core Rotators. Basically, this is standing in place and twisting your body so you target your core, which is so important for maintaining good balance. Start by firmly planting the feet a little wider than hip-width distance apart. Stretch your arms in front of you and press your palms together. Twist the arms back and forth across the body, rotating the obliques and pushing against the resistance of water. Rotate from side to side for 30 seconds, take a 30-second rest and repeat 3 more times.
Staying cool and strong this summer
Getting too hot, not drinking enough fluids, forgetting your hat outdoors…these are all things that can leave you vulnerable to hot days. Be sure to limit your exposure to the sun, drink lots of water, and pace yourself.
At St. Mark Village, we want our residents to enjoy a happy and healthy summer, and our wonderful pool helps them do just that. We’d love to tell you more about our community, where you enjoy first class amenities every day, and you have the peace of mind of seamless access to future care options.