'Age is but a number' is an adage that is especially true for those of us who keep active and healthy well into our senior years.
Yet, no matter how fit we stay throughout our life, our bodies do change with time. Where running for an hour at a fast pace used to be no problem, our joints simply cannot keep up forever. So, to continue reaping the benefits of physical activity as an older person, why not try aquatic exercise?
The benefits of water exercise
Water exercise is an ideal way to ease strains and pain.
For anyone with joint, bone or muscle problems, the low resistance and buoyancy of water is an ideal way to ease strains and pain.
Research by Nobuo Takeshima from the Nagoya City University of Japan even found senior women who regularly did aquatic exercise for over 12 weeks became more agile, flexible and strong.
Besides these obvious benefits, water exercise – as a regular form of cardio – also increases metabolism, helping seniors maintain their physique.
The best exercises for seniors
While there are a lot of different activities you can do in the water, these three are great at targeting strength, balance and endurance:
1. Water walking
If you're using a pool, hold onto the edge (or use a pool noodle) and walk in the shallow end. Depending on your activity level, you can walk faster or even add some weights to make the exercise more challenging and effective.
2. Leg swings
A great way to work out your lower body is to stand chest-deep in water, swinging your legs straight back and forth. Simply place one hand on the edge of the pool or somewhere else for stability and slowly lift your right leg, hold for a few seconds and lower. Change legs and repeat!
3. Arm circles
Keeping your arms engaged and strong is easily done with arm circles. All you need to do is raise your arms in front of you and draw small circles clockwise while keeping them straight. Gradually make circles larger until you can't repeat anymore, then switch the motion anti-clockwise.
Something to remember
As with any new exercise, we recommend asking your doctor before diving in head first. Every form of activity comes with its benefits and disadvantages, depending on your physical condition. But, once you have checked with your trusted GP and get the all-clear from them, getting active in the water is sure to bring new excitement to daily life!
Do you or your loved one want to become involved in aquatic exercise but lack the time or support to do so? Our team at Bannister In Home Care can help with our person centric companion care. For more information, feel free to reach out to our team for a chat.