Arthritis and joint pain can make working out the last thing seniors want to do. However, water exercises can relieve arthritis and joint pain while increasing bone density and muscle mass. Here are 5 water exercises that you can try to start feeling better today!
Staying active as a senior can be tough. Achy joints that don’t work as well as they used to make it hard to go for a walk or incorporate strength exercises into a daily routine. However, exercising in the water is great for reducing arthritis and other joint pain because it puts less stress on the joints and the buoyancy of the water helps reduce the pressure on joints. Water also acts as a form of resistance, so strength exercises can be performed in the water without heavy weights. Performing strength exercises and using resistance will increase flexibility and balance and decrease bone and muscle loss.
We suggest giving the following exercises a try, but keep these safety tips in mind: be aware of your limits, never do water aerobics alone (it’s not as fun, anyway), and speak with your doctor about how your medications and overall fitness mesh with water aerobics.
1. Aqua Jogging
Aqua jogging is the perfect aerobic, low-impact exercise to get the heart pumping and blood flowing throughout the body. Aqua jogging can be as simple as jogging through the water from one side of the pool to the other. This exercise can also be simplified to walking back and forth in the pool or jogging or marching in place. Aqua jogging is designed to get the heart rate up and keep it up, so whichever modification you choose, be sure it’s at least a little challenging.
2. Flutter Kicking
Flutter kicking is another great low-impact cardio exercise. This exercise can be performed with or without a kickboard. With a kickboard, hold it out in front of you and flutter kick your legs to propel you back and forth across the pool. You can also flutter kick without a kickboard if one is not available. Perform a front float with your head above water while holding onto the side of the pool and flutter kick your legs. Whichever way you do it, kick at a steady tempo that doesn’t tire you too quickly but also gets the heart pumping.
3. Leg Lifts
Using the resistance of the water, leg lifts work all of the muscles in the legs. For this exercise, stand in the pool and lift one leg out to the side and back down. Repeat until your leg feels tired, then switch legs and perform the exercise on the other leg. Not only does this exercise work the legs, it also improves balance and strengthens your core.
Source: Senior Lifestyle