There’s nothing better than a refreshing dip in the pool to beat the July heat, and with the buoyancy of the water, it provides the extra advantage of the perfect low-impact environment for helping seniors remain active while alleviating pressure to joints.
Be sure to talk with the older adult’s health care professional first before beginning or adjusting physical activity levels, and then invite a senior loved one to dive right into these wonderful pool exercises for seniors:
- Marching: Marching gets the entire body engaged, while the water supplies sufficient resistance to elevate a senior’s heart rate. While maintaining proper posture and holding arms out to the side for balance, simply march at a rhythmic pace.
- Kicking. While holding onto a kickboard or the side of the pool, reach the legs straight out behind and kick in a fluttering manner.
- Swinging. While holding onto the side of the pool with one arm for balance, swing one leg forward for a count of five, and then backward for a count of five. Repeat with both legs 12 times.
- Curling. Holding water weights (or bottles of water, if weights are not readily available), curl the arms up and back down again through the water, switching sides.
- Swimming. Swimming is an excellent exercise to increase muscle tone and strength in addition to working each of the primary muscle groups. If at all possible, swim at a challenging enough pace to increase heart rate and strengthen the lungs.
It’s also a great idea to make the most of community pools and gyms that offer specialized water courses for seniors, such as water yoga. Not only will a senior loved one boost physical activity, but he/she will have the opportunity to make new acquaintances and enhance socialization also.
Recent studies also detail the psychological and cognitive health advantages of simply being nearby the water. Known as “blue space,” the pleasing benefits of water – whether in a natural environment, or even just a 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.
As one of the top-rated home health agencies in Kansas City, MO, Enhanced Home Care is focused on helping senior loved ones improve physical, emotional, and cognitive health every day in lots of ways. For instance, we’re always available to provide accompanied transportation to help seniors experience the many benefits of being in or near the water, along with the pleasant companionship to make every day more enjoyable.