4 swimming exercises for seniors
May 21, 2012
By now, you probably know that your loved one needs regular exercise to stay strong and healthy in his or her old age. Not only will light workouts keep your relative fit, but it can also help to reduce the risk of falls that could cause serious injury. One of the best ways to get exercise that's easy on the joints, fun and low-impact is swimming. Here are four exercises to show your loved one in the pool.
1. Water walking. This is one of the easiest exercises, and it doesn't require any kind of accessory. In waist-deep water, simply walk across the pool swinging your arms like you would normally on land. Don't walk on your tiptoes and make sure that your back stays straight. For added resistance, cup your hands in the water.
2. Leg swings. Stand in water that's waist-deep by the side of the pool. While holding on to the edge of the pool, swing your leg as far forward as you can and hold it there for five seconds, keeping it as straight as possible. Then, swing your leg backward as far as possible and hold for another five seconds. Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times on each leg.
3. Kickboard resistance. For this exercise, you'll need a kickboard or boogie board for added resistance in the water. Stand in waist-deep water with your legs spaced apart and hold the kickboard on each end. Extend one of your arms to the side. Keeping your elbow close to your body, push the kickboard through the water toward the center of your body. Return to the extended position and repeat 10 to 15 times before switching arms.
4. Wall chair. Find a corner of the pool that is about chest-deep. Place both arms on the edges of the pool to support your weight, then extend your legs and put your feet together. Use your abdominal muscles to pull your knees toward your chest. Repeat 10 to 15 times. To work the obliques, twist your legs to both sides of your body when lifting them.
If your pool is in the backyard, it may be a good idea to invest in a medical alert system from Bay Alarm. In the event of a poolside emergency, the medical alarm will ensure that you and your loved one are connected to help at the push of a button.