Staying active as we age has many benefits including staying mobile and feeling positive among many other benefits. Exercises in water are low-impact and low-weight bearing that promotes moving nutrients to the joint surfaces and minimizes risk of injury and stress to the joints. Burdens on the body such as ligaments, tendons and bones are lessened while increasing blood flow.
Water exercises help to relieve arthritis and joint pain while increasing bone density and muscle mass, critical for walking and day to day activities. Since water is used as a form of resistance, strength exercises can be performed without heavy weights which increases flexibility, balance and decreases bone and muscle loss. By improving balance and increasing your reaction time, there is less risk of falling which can have serious consequences for seniors.
Water exercises in a pool helps the cardiovascular system by increasing the efficiency of your blood circulation. This means the more you exercise, the less strain on the heart which leads to your overall fitness. Water aerobics can also help older women with osteoporosis to improve and maintain bone health.
If you need to lose weight, water aerobics burns up to 3.5 times a similar activity on land. It increases your metabolism, strength and improves balance to help keep up with normal activities of daily living. This in turn allows you to remain independent and active while maintaining an improved mental outlook.
Exercising in the pool should take place in water that is at least waist deep and not above your shoulders. You do not need to know how to swim and flotation devices can be used to help stay afloat in the water. The main purpose of water is to get the heart rate up and keep it up, so be sure your workout is at least a little challenging. Let’s now take a look at some water aerobics exercises that can be performed in a pool, lake or even the ocean.
Water Walking or Jogging
If you are new to this exercise you should start out in shallow water. As you progress and you want a more intense workout, you can exercise in deeper water and/or jog. Start by walking or jogging forward just as you would on land. Move forward planting the whole foot on the bottom with each step. Your core muscles are engaged with each step and your arms should move front to back for a full body workout. Work through the water from one side of pool to another or walk in place.
Walk in reverse to add variety and to add additional resistance and intensity, use water barbells or ankle weights. Water walking shoes are a great way to provide increased traction and grip while walking across the bottom.
More Water Aerobics