By Lionel Roy
Summer is coming, and what is more fun than frolicking around in a lake or swimming pool? Swimming is wonderful exercise. Aside from just having fun splashing around, you can get a really good workout in the water. The elderly often have issues with joint pain and mobility; therefore, water aerobics is especially good exercise for senior citizens, or anyone with such issues. We weigh less in water, so there is less stress on our joints when we exercise in a watery environment. This is a real “low impact” workout. It’s a whole body work out too.
I’m going to share some exercises that you can do in swimming pool:
This exercise focuses on your abdominal muscles. Hold on to the side of the pool, or if you prefer hold on to a floatation device and flex your hip muscles by bringing your knees up to your chest. While you are flexing these muscles tighten your core muscles in your abdomen. If you want to challenge yourself a bit, just let go of the side of the pool or floatation device and do this same exercise while treading water. As long as you breathe normally you will be able to keep your head above water without any problems. Keep doing this exercise while you get your heart rate up. This will give your abdominal muscles, and your hip and back muscles a good workout. Now mix it up a little bit. Add a little twist into this exercise. Hold your arms out and flex your hips and knees. Bring them up to your chest and now twist to the right and left. I call this movement “the washing machine.” This twisting exercise works the internal and external obliques. This exercise is great for core training, because it works all the muscles of mid section, ribs, back and hips.
This next exercise focuses on the hips. Stand in the shallow end of the pool, and either hold on to the side of the pool, or hold on to a floatation device. Lift one leg at a time and extend it out in front and then rotate it to the side. Do this 12 times per reps per set, and then switch sides and repeat. Rest between sets for a short time and then go to another exercise. Don’t push yourself beyond your endurance. Move as you are comfortable. If you are consistent you will see progress.
You don’t have to spend hours working out. You can spend 5 to 10 minutes to at first, and as you feel able you can extend your exercise sessions to 20 or 30 minutes. To be effective, you should try to workout in the pool at least twice a week to start. If you can workout in water more than twice a week it is even better. Water aerobics is very low impact. You won’t have the aches and pains associated with regular workouts that are not in water. Just as in any exercise, always work both sides of the body — water aerobics or pool therapy is a great way to get exercise, sometimes, the only way if:
- You are morbidly obese, and have difficulty standing or bending
- You have fibr0myalgia, low impact exercise causes less discomfort.
- You have knee or joint pain.
- You are pregnant.
Exercising in a round above ground pool is fun. I like to make a whirlpool. It’s easy. If you have a round pool, just walk in a circle. Pushing through the water will create a current and you will get a whirlpool going. Once you get a good current established, just change directions and walk the opposite way. It takes work to walk against the current you have established, and so much fun.
If you are a senior citizen, and you have grandchildren, this would be a good time to enjoy the day with them. While the kids are splashing, having a good time, you can also have a great time and get fit at the same time. This is a good time to teach little ones how to swim. Teaching your little ones how to swim could one day save a life. I learned to swim when I was very little. I was also taught how to tread water, and to roll on my back and float. These techniques could save a life one day. For me, especially if I fall off a fishing boat!
- Water Exercise for Fibromyalgia: Easing Deep Muscle Pain (webmd.com)
- My biggest challenge (daisydonut.wordpress.com)
- Advantage Of Swim Spa (mydecorarticles.com)
- Water Therapies for Winter Wellness (joyofspa.com)
- Knee and Hip Exercises for Osteoarthritis (webmd.com)
- How Do I Know When It’s Time to Clean My Swimming Pool Filter? (lifeguardpools.wordpress.com)
- Exercise: Menstruation to Menopause (bangaricontentgallery.com)
- Exercising During Pregnancy (enfamil.com)