The physical benefits of exercise for elderly are essential for any healthy lifestyle plan. However, fighting off combative inactive lifestyles and laziness is not always easy. A good way to stay motivated and active is to vary your activity routines. Water exercise for seniors, such as aqua gym, is a great way to change routine during the summer and promote active ageing with fun and stimulating activities.
Benefits of the Aqua Gym for the Elderly
The benefits of exercise on mental and physical health are numerous, especially for ageing people. Regardless of age, before starting any exercise routine, it is important to know your state of health and what type of exercise is most suitable for you. In the case of physical activity in older people, this is especially important, as any injury not only takes longer to heal but can also lead to a major setback in mood and in the way of coping with the need for exercise.
Water aerobics for seniors is a very active alternative because it meets all the requirements of physical activity suitable for seniors: it is safe, considering it involves movement and engagement of the whole body. Water aerobics take place in a unique environment that is motivating and it is also enjoyable.
Apart from the three stimulating characteristics of water aerobics mentioned above, the exercise also has numerous benefits. Some of the interesting long term physical benefits of exercise in water for seniors include:
By floating in the water, the impact on ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones and joints is much less than when exercising on dry land. Water gymnastics is suitable for individuals who cannot perform high-intensity exercises, such as the elderly.
The risk of injury is very minimal. Working out in a park or the living room has more risks than exercising in a pool. Thus the physical exercise benefits are more since you are always on your feet, so there is no danger of drowning, and you are not likely to bump or fall and injure yourself while in the water.
The physical exercise benefits are achieved without putting in a lot of work because it is easier to work the muscles. The water is a great exercise environment where the muscles are toned without you even realising it. You are working out only with the resistance you can feel as you move through the water. However, thanks to the loss of gravity, it is possible to perform aerobic and non-aerobic exercises without the feeling of tiredness being so noticeable.
It is a great way to relax. Floating is one of the most relaxing activities available. It somehow reminds us of the womb, which is why it is such a comforting experience. Combining physical exercise and relaxation can be the best way to ensure a good rest in a swimming pool at an optimal temperature (between 27-31°C).
There are no risks of dehydration and heat stroke in the swimming pool. These two situations make it difficult for older people to exercise during the summer. The solution to avoiding sunstroke and drying out is as simple as opting for new scenery.
Apart from the specific benefits of pool exercise for adults, it should also be noted that, as with any physical activity, the aqua gym helps to oxygenate the body, improve blood circulation, control blood pressure and improve balance and coordination. In short, it is a complete activity, and the benefits of exercise on mental and physical health are noticeable.
What Are the Pool Exercises For Older Adults Like?
The aqua gym routines for seniors are very varied, which is one of the great advantages of this activity, and there is no way to get bored. They should always be adapted to each person's abilities, although there are usually several basic exercises suitable for most participants. Here are some ways to perform aquatic exercises:
• Open and close your arms underwater, as if trying to jump into the water, with the legs bent, the palms of the hands open and the water at shoulder level.
• Ensure there is water between your chest and waist and your elbows close to your torso. Raise your hands to your shoulders by bending at the elbow and lowering them until your arms are almost fully straight. This biceps curl is performed with clenched fists.
• Begin walking through water while avoiding moving, either by floating and raising your body at each step or with the help of a floatation bar (the classic churro). The aim is to perform the movements of walking but without moving from the spot.
• Raise your knees and keep them bent using a floatation bar placed in front of the chest and under the armpits. On this floating point, raise your knees at a 90° angle. Ensure your knees are close to your chest and hold the position for a short while before lowering them again.
One of the roles of Cuidum's caregivers is to promote active ageing. Do you need your older family members to go into active mode and experience the long-term physical benefits of exercise? Sometimes all they need to get going is enough motivation and understanding of the physical exercise benefits. What physical activity do your family members do to stay active? Would they like to exercise in the water? Let's get active!