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Water Aerobics Exercises for Seniors

by
author image Crystal Welch
Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.
Water Aerobics Exercises for Seniors
Seniors in water aerobic class Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Overview

Water aerobics exercises for seniors cause less joint impact than land-based exercises such as running. Water's natural buoyancy, resistance, cooling effect and decreased joint impact make it an ideal exercise medium for seniors. Health ailments such as diabetes, arthritis, menopause, cardiovascular problems, back problems and osteoporosis can benefit from water aerobics, notes the Aquatic Exercise Association.

Pool Walking

You can get beneficial aerobic exercise through pool walking, which you can perform in the shallow end of any pool. Hold the edge of the pool and wear water shoes for increased stability and traction. Adding some hand weights, hand floats or weighted boots to your routine will help you burn more calories and create additional resistance for your muscles. Increasing the speed of your walk, provided you don't increase the impact of the exercise, is also effective.

Lower-Body Exercise

Leg swings are a key element of any lower-body water aerobics workout regimen. Stand in chest-deep water with your left side against the pool's wall. Place your left hand on the pool's side for balance. With your legs straight, slowly lift your right leg forward and elevated it for five seconds. Swing your leg backward and make five complete back-and-forth swings. Rest for a few seconds before repeating this exercise with your left leg.

Cross-Country Skiing

Performing a water aerobics exercise that imitates cross-country skiing will give you a full-body workout. Stand in shoulder-waist level water and move your arms and legs back and forth as though you're cross-country skiing. Bend your arms at the elbow so that your lower arm is parallel to the pool's bottom. Move your right arm forward at the same time you move your left leg forward, and vice versa. This movement is similar to walking. Make certain your feet touch the pool's bottom. Perform this aerobic exercise in 60-second intervals and gradually increase each interval as you get used to the movement.

Upper-Body Exercise

Working your upper body requires you to move deeper into the pool until you're in neck-deep water. Raise both of your arms in front of you, keeping them in the water. Make certain your arms are straight, and then make small arm circles and gradually increase each circle's size. Make five clockwise circles and five counterclockwise circles. Return to neutral and, when ready, repeat this exercise five times. Do not raise your hands out of the water while doing this exercise.

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