There is almost nothing greater than a relaxing dip in the pool to beat the summer heat, and with the buoyancy of the water, it gives the added benefit of the perfect low-impact environment to help seniors remain active while alleviating stress to joints.
Make certain to seek the advice of a senior’s physician first before starting or changing physical exercise levels, and then invite your loved one to dive into these wonderful water-based exercises for seniors:
- Marching: Marching will get the entire body involved, while the water supplies a sufficient amount of resistance to raise the senior’s heart rate. While maintaining good posture and holding arms out to the side for balance, simply march at a rhythmic speed.
- Kicking. While holding onto a kickboard or even the side of the pool, extend the legs straight out behind and kick in a fluttering manner.
- Swinging. While holding onto the edge of the pool with one arm for stability, move one leg forward for a count of five, and then backward for a count of five. Repeat with both legs 12 times.
- Curling. Grasping water weights (or bottles of water, if weights are not available), curl the arms up and back down again through the water, switching sides.
- Swimming. Swimming is an excellent way to boost muscle tone and strength in addition to working all of the major muscle groups. When possible, swim at a challenging enough pace to elevate heart rate and strengthen the lungs.
It’s also a good idea to make use of neighborhood pools and gyms that provide specialized water exercise for seniors, such as water yoga. Not only can a senior boost physical activity, but he/she will have the opportunity to make new acquaintances and increase socialization also.
Recent studies also detail the psychological and cognitive health advantages of simply being close to the water. Known as “blue space,” the benefits of water – whether in a natural environment, or even a swimming pool or shower – have been proven to “induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart, and induce relaxation,” according to Wallace Nichols, author of the book Blue Mind.
At Morning Glory Home Care, the in home care Edwardsville, IL families trust, we’re committed to helping seniors enhance physical, emotional, and cognitive health every day in a variety of ways. For instance, we are always on hand to provide accompanied transportation to enable older adults to experience the many benefits of being in or around the water, together with the pleasant companionship to make each and every day more enjoyable.