There’s almost nothing better than a relaxing dip in the pool to beat the July heat, and with the buoyancy of the water, it provides the added benefit of the perfect low-impact environment for helping senior loved ones remain active while relieving pressure to joints.
Be sure to consult with a senior’s physician first prior to 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 whole body involved, while the water offers plenty of resistance to raise the senior’s heart rate. While maintaining proper posture and holding arms off to the side for balance, simply march at a rhythmic rate.
- Kicking. While holding onto a kickboard or the side of the pool, stretch the legs straight out behind and kick in a fluttering manner.
- Swinging. While grasping 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. Holding water weights (or bottles of water, if weights are not available), curl the arms up and back down again through the water, changing sides.
- Swimming. Swimming is a fantastic method to boost muscle tone and strength in addition to working all of the primary muscle groups. When possible, swim at a challenging enough pace to raise heart rate and strengthen the lungs.
It is also a good idea to make the most of neighborhood pools and gyms that offer specialized water courses for older adults, such as water yoga. Not only can a loved one increase physical activity, but she/he will have the opportunity to make new friends and increase socialization as well.
Recent research also details the psychological and cognitive health advantages of simply being near the water. Known as “blue space,” the calming impacts of water – whether in a natural environment, or even a swimming pool or shower – have been demonstrated 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.
Live Free Home Health Care, home care specialists in Concord, NH and the surrounding areas, can help improve quality of life for seniors. We are committed to helping seniors enhance physical, emotional, and cognitive health on a daily basis in a variety of ways. For instance, we’re always available to provide accompanied transportation to enable older adults to experience the benefits of being in or close to the water, together with the cheerful companionship to make every day more fulfilling.