Aging doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one has to become less active. On the contrary, staying active is part of keeping fit and being physically and mentally healthy.
Swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises that your loved one can take part it, and the best part is: an exercise routine in the water can easily be tailored to suit their needs, capabilities and exercise goals.
Livestrong has provided some exercises specifically for your loved one as they take to the pool this summer.
Legs swings allow the muscles in the upper legs to become stronger. To perform a leg swing, stand in the pool’s outer edge with the water up to at least to your lower back. As you hold on to the edge of the pool, swing your leg as far forward as possible, ensuring your leg is straight. Hold this position for five seconds and then swap legs, repeating this motion 10 to 15 times.
For this exercise, it is important to be at a section of the pool where the water is up to your neck. It is important to stand next to the edge of the pool to ensure balance. Lift your arms out so that they are just below water level, ensuring your arms are straight and your palms face downwards while you make circular motions with your arms. Remain in the same direction for 10 to 15 seconds, then stop and reverse the direction of the circles for another 10 to 15 seconds.
Give those abdominal muscles a good work-out! Find an edge of the pool where the water comes up to your chest. Put both arms on the edge of the pool to support your bodyweight. Keep your legs together and use your abdominal muscles to pull your legs toward your chest, bending at the knees. Repeat this exercise between 10 to 15 times, and ensure you rest well afterwards.
To mix this exercise with your oblique muscles (the muscles surrounding your love handles)—twist your knees and lower body, alternating between the right and the left while you perform the exercise.
Water naturally resists movement. Therefore, walking in the pool is one of the most basic forms of resistance training your loved one can do. The increased strength required to walk in water, compared to regular walking, increases strength as well as flexibility.
Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise alone. Consider encouraging your loved one to join an aerobics class with similarly aged people. This will not only improve their motivation, it will give them a chance to get to know new people.
Keeping fit requires dedication, but the benefits always outweigh the hassle. The most important thing to remember is to take it slowly and gently. Start today and you’ll be asking yourself why hadn’t done it sooner.
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