Dive in — water exercises to keep seniors cool and fit all summer long
With the official start of summer nearly here and the temperatures heating up, it’s time to cool down in the pool! Swimming and water aerobics not only provide a reprieve from the heat, they are also great full-body exercises that are gentle on the joints — win-win!
Fellowship Square offers tips for staying cool and fit this summer — in the pool!
According to an article on the John C. Hopkins Medicine website, water can assist in making exercises easier and less painful since it “removes excessive forces on the joints.” So simply water walking in a shallow pool (water should be about waist high) can be beneficial for seniors that hesitate to work out because of joint pain. The site states that in addition to joint and chronic pain, those that experience low-back pain, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis can also benefit from water exercises.
The Mayo Clinic echoes those statements and adds that aquatic exercise can help strengthen muscles without weights due to the water’s natural resistance. Additional benefits the site touts are improved heart health, reduced stress, and improved muscular endurance.
Water fitness and aerobics classes are offered at many local gyms and of course at Fellowship Square too. But water exercise does not require an organized class. In addition to water walking (or water jogging), seniors can do exercises such as flutter kicks, leg lifts, and swings, standing push-ups against the side of the pool, arm curls, and other arm exercises with water weights, arm circles, and chest flys using water resistance and calk raises. Swimming laps is also an excellent workout for the entire body.
Water aerobics classes generally offer an instructor-led workout in waist-deep water that offers resistance training as well as cardiovascular conditioning. Water aerobics is also a great overall workout for the whole body and can help seniors improve balance, coordination, and mobility — all in a fun and no-stress environment.
After a cool water workout, relax in the hot tub or sauna for a few minutes to let the muscles relax while enjoying the soothing warmth of the water. Seniors should remember that even when working out in the water, it’s important to hydrate — especially if swimming in an outdoor pool during the summer months.
Fellowship Square encourages seniors to beat the keep while keeping active this summer — with water workouts! These can be casual and unstructured or via an aerobics class. Either way, working out in the water has so many benefits for the whole body. So dive in!