Along with increasing muscle strength, water aerobics can help you lose fat and achieve great flexibility. In this FitnessVigil post, we will discuss how seniors can include this exercise routine to keep them healthy and active.
Water aerobics, or aqua aerobics as it’s often called, is an aerobic exercise routine that is performed in water, using it as a resistance. Although often enjoyed by people of all ages, water aerobics routines for seniors are especially beneficial because of the low risk of injury and joint pain. As with all forms of aerobic exercises, they benefit the heart and is a recommended form of cardiovascular exercise as well. In most cases, they are performed in the shallow end of the pool, so you can participate even if your don’t know how to swim. Not only is it a great way to beat the heat, but it’s also a fun way to stay in shape.
Getting Toned inside the Pool
The mainstay of these exercises is the resistance provided by water which makes basic activities, such as walking, a challenge. Having said that, this form of aerobics in not as high intensity as other aerobic exercises might be―this makes them that much more beneficial. Performed under the guidance of a trained instructor, the routines can form a strength training workout, helping to build lean muscle mass along with strengthening joints and bones. Some typical routines will ask you to:
- Walking or Jogging – The resistance of water makes these simple activities more difficult than normal.
- Jumping – The buoyancy of water aids in jumping without the risk of high impact this would have had on land.
- Kicking – These are great for stretching the muscles and increasing range of motion without the risk of injury.
- Cycling – By holding onto a rail, or with the assistance of a partner, you can ‘paddle’ with your legs, keeping your body parallel to the pool floor.
Benefits for Seniors
- Apart from the resistance that water provides, it also supports the body―this means not only reduced risk from injury from muscle pulls, strains and sprains, but also reduced likelihood of injury from falls.
- For those looking to get into shape, water aerobics for weight loss is the way to go. The calories burned in approximately one hour of exercise would amount to anywhere between 300 – 450, depending on the intensity of exercise.
- This is also a good choice of exercise for those who are rehabilitating after surgery or undergoing physiotherapy.
- The effect of exercising in water is cooling, and prevents the body from getting heated up, especially in the summer, when high intensity exercises like running can expose you to the risk of dehydration or sunstroke.
It’s not unusual for the limitations of age to place boundaries on the amount of physical activity that is feasible. Aches and pains can often place further restrictions on the level of physical activity that you can undertake. Low impact exercise has further detrimental effects on health and mental fitness. To break out of this vicious circle, low impact exercises can fulfill all the functions that are needed to ensure fitness. Often, when these exercises are performed in a group, it gives the elderly a chance to socialize as well. Motivation stays high, and overall health improves. Incorporating a routine session of water aerobics may well the answer to your fitness woes and worries!
Disclaimer: This FitnessVigil article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.