10 best water exercises for seniors

Old age takes a toll on the body, and the joints and muscles are not as strong as they once were. And because of this, the range of physical activities available to seniors is limited. Thankfully, water exercises for seniors are less painful, require less effort, and guarantee significant health benefits.

If you are a senior reading this and you had given up on working out because you think you can’t, we urge you to reconsider. Water exercises are perfect for an effective workout with minor pain. Or if you have a senior in your family, encourage them to try these water exercises.

The best part is that many different water exercises cater to different needs and abilities. You will find a water exercise routine that will help improve your health and well-being. Best part: We have also included pictures/video guides to ensure you get these exercises done right.

Best water exercises for seniors

1. Swimming

One of the best exercises for seniors is swimming. Swimming is an exercise that targets almost your entire body. If you are looking for a full-body workout, look no further than the pool. But before you dive in, there are some things you should know.

senior swimming in the pool

Swimming can be strenuous activity if done incorrectly or for prolonged periods. To avoid injuries, always do warm-up exercises before taking on an intense swimming routine. When doing so, remember to do light exercises for a few minutes and then gradually increase your intensity as you go along.

Swimming exercises also help improve the body’s cardiovascular system and strengthen muscles such as the biceps, shoulders, chest, and back. It is an excellent way to build endurance and improve the flexibility of the joints.

2. Flutter kicks

One of the simplest water exercises for seniors is a set of flutter kicks. All you have to do is place your arms on the sides of the pool or a kickboard, and with your legs extended straight, begin kicking with all your might.

This is a good exercise for the abs because it engages the core muscles and is excellent for toning the thighs and buttocks.

3. Arm curls

Like any other weight-bearing exercise, arm curls are a great way to improve muscle mass and strength. In the water, you use your body weight as resistance, making this exercise even more beneficial.

To do arm curls in the water, you will need weights that are comfortable for you. Hold them with both arms stretched out, palms facing down, and press down and up. Repeat the motion for as long as you can.

4. Leg lifts

This is another basic water exercise that targets the lower body, and it is a great way to tone the abs and thighs.

Hold onto the edge of the pool with one hand, and then lift your leg to do leg lifts. Keep it straight and ensure you’re standing up straight. Keep going a few times then change position and switch to the other leg.

Repeat the same pattern as you go along.

5. Aqua jogging

This is a great exercise to improve your cardiovascular system and burn calories. It is effortless to do in the water and you can add a kickboard for extra resistance. But even without a kickboard, this is a great way to workout.

To do aqua jogging, you will need a pair of aqua shoes and a floatation belt. The shoes will allow for a better cardiovascular workout than running in your bare feet. And the swimming or floatation belts are used for deep water.

With these handy, jump inside the water and do a light jog in the shallow end of the water for a few minutes – just to warm up. Then begin to run across the pool like you would if you were on land. Remember to keep your breathing steady and consistent.

6. Standing push-up

This is a more challenging water exercise, but it is well worth the effort and targets the arms and chest muscles.

To do a standing push-up, you will need to find a sturdy edge to hold onto. Place your palms flat on the edge and slowly lower your body towards the water. Keep your elbows close to your body as you do so. Hold this position for a few seconds, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat the exercise as many times as you want.

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7. Water resistance exercises

These are highly effective and simple to do in the water. All you have to do is find a buoyant object, like a kickboard or noodles. Hold it with both hands and move it up and down, forward and backward, or from side to side.

This is a great way to work out all the major muscle groups in your body, and it is also a great way to improve coordination and balance.

8. Chest fly

This is an excellent exercise for the chest muscles. It is simple to do and can be done with or without weights.

To do a chest fly, hold your arms out in front of you, palms facing each other, in front of your chest. Push your arms out to your sides in the water, then back together in front of you.

9. Leg swings

This is a great water exercise for the inner and outer thighs. It also helps improve balance. Seniors will benefit from this swimming workout by strengthening their leg muscles.

To do leg swings:

  1. Hold on to the pool’s edge while standing in the water, then swing the outside leg forwards.
  2. Hold for five seconds, then swing the same leg behind you and hold for another five seconds.
  3. Turn around and repeat with the opposite leg when you’ve reached a comfortable level of exhaustion.

10. Arm circles

This is an excellent exercise for improving the range of motion in the arms and shoulders, and it is also straightforward to do.

To do arm circles, Raise your arms straight out to the sides, palms facing down. For 10 to 20 seconds, move your arms forward in a circular manner, then reverse direction.

Benefits of water exercises for seniors

Improves flexibility

Water workouts for seniors are a low-impact, high-impact exercise, making it very safe for older people who might have joint or muscular problems or problems with balance. It has a high impact on these seniors because it helps improve their strength and endurance.

Water workouts for seniors are also very flexible. Seniors can do these exercises in the shallow end of a pool or stand in deeper water if they want a more intense workout.

Improves balance

As seniors age, they often lose balance and coordination, increasing the risk of falls and other accidents. Water workouts for seniors help improve balance and coordination once again, making it much safer for them to walk around the house and neighborhood. If they fall, they are more likely to land in the water instead of the ground.

Improves heart health

Water workouts for seniors also help improve heart health, and they help improve the body’s overall fitness level and cardiovascular endurance. When the heart works harder, it becomes stronger and can pump blood more efficiently, reducing the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

Helps reduce stress

Swimming is a great way to reduce stress. It is a low-impact exercise that helps the body release endorphins, which help block pain signals and promote happiness. This makes seniors feel better about themselves, more relaxed, and less stressed out.

Builds muscle strength

Water fitness exercises also help build muscle strength in the upper and lower body. This is because water provides resistance that helps build muscle. As the muscles become stronger, bones also develop more density and become stronger. This can help reduce the risk for fractures as seniors age.

In summary, water exercises for seniors are a great way to stay healthy and fit as you age. They are low impact, flexible, and help improve balance, coordination, and heart health. They also reduce stress and promote a better mood.

Last words

We hope these water exercises for seniors will make you or the elderly ones in your life reconsider working out. Many more water exercises involve jumping, dancing, pulling, and pushing the body in different directions. So, no matter your age or ability, there is a water exercise routine for you. Just find the right pool and get started.

Jude Uchella is a research writer and a strong advocate for health and fitness. He takes pleasure in helping people live their best life. When he's not writing, he's probably researching the next topic to write about. :)