Easy & Helpful Water Exercises for Seniors

Staying active promotes mobility and flexibility and improves mental health in older adults. When you’re looking for ways to be physically active, one of the best options is water exercises. 

Pool exercises are low-impact and will put less stress on your joints. You don’t have to worry about post-workout joint pain and you can enjoy all the refreshing fun of being in the water. 

“Residents love using our heated outdoor swimming pool,” said Rex Waller, General Manager at Copeland Tower Living in Metairie, LA. “We offer a variety of water aerobics classes so residents can enhance their fitness and well-being.” 

Elaine Hinojosa, a resident at Copeland Tower Living said, “It’s great exercise, and you don’t even realize you’re exercising because it is fun to be in the water!” 

Sally Hall, another resident taking water exercise classes at the community added, “You don’t sweat!”

Elaine said, “It’s really a way to exercise and not put a lot of stress on your body like other exercises because you can do things in the water that you can’t do out of it. That’s one of the things I really like about it.”

If you’re interested in water exercise as a form of fitness, try these popular water exercises for seniors to get started on your fitness journey.  

Women enjoying water exercises for seniors

Benefits of Swimming for Seniors

Water provides a unique factor in your exercise routine that does a lot for your physical health: resistance. As you move in the water, the water is pushing back on you. This resistance will work out your heart and muscles. 

You’re also going to have the benefit of buoyancy – which will support your body and reduce impact on your joints. 

Water exercises provide the following health benefits:

  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Muscle strength and balance 
  • Body fat reduction

“It works your whole body, and you can modify it based on how fit you are and how long you’ve been doing it. It’s a really good way to get your exercise,” said Sally. 

Water Exercises for Seniors

These pool exercises for seniors are great additions to your fitness routine! 

  1. Walking

While walking in a pool may sound odd at first, the water supports your body and resists you as you walk. This is the perfect exercise if you’re a beginner looking to incorporate more movement into your day. 

You can always build on your workout when you feel you can add more. For example, you may start in the shallow end of the pool and walk from one wall to the other five times. As you get used to this workout, you may find that you can increase it to eight or ten times. 

  1. Arm Raises

You can use water weights with this workout or simply make it a body-weight workout. 

  1. Make sure your feet are about shoulder-width apart, and your arms are at your sides. 
  2. Keeping your arms straight, raise them in front of your body until they are just underneath the surface of the water.
  3. Push your arms back down until they’re back at your sides. Do 10–12 repetitions, depending on what’s best for you. 
  1. Bicep Curls

You’re likely familiar with arm curls done in a weight room, but you can also do them in the pool. 

  1. Go to an area of the pool where the water is at your shoulders.
  2. Take your water weights and hold them in a starting position at your sides. Make sure your palms are facing up. 
  3. Slowly raise your arms into a bicep curl, hold, and slowly lower them back to the starting position. Do 10–12 repetitions.

  4. Calf Raises

Now that you’ve done some upper-body workouts, it’s time for some lower-body workouts. 

  1. Plant your feet on the pool floor with your arms at your sides. 
  2. Slowly start to stand on the balls of your feet like you’re trying to stand on your toes. 
  3. Hold this position for a couple of seconds, and then return to your starting position. 

If you’d like to modify for balance, holding the side of the pool can give you the support you need.

  1. Leg Lifts 

This workout can be done in different ways to work out all the muscles in your leg. The first motion of the leg lift will be moving forward and backward. 

  1. Hold on to the pool wall with your left hand and face forward. 
  2. With your left leg firmly planted, raise your right leg forward and backward, as close to level with your hip as possible. 
  3. After 10–12 reps, turn around so your right hand is holding the wall and your right leg is planted. Repeat the workout with your left leg. 

To work out a different group of muscles, raise your leg  to the side. You can apply this same technique of holding the wall, planting your foot closest to the wall, and moving the opposite leg. 

  1. Flutter Kicks

This is a great exercise to raise your heart rate for a good cardio workout. If you have a kickboard, you can use this to support your upper body as you kick your legs behind you to propel you across the pool. If you use this method, keep track of your laps. 

If you don’t have a kickboard, you can hold on to the wall. Be sure to keep your head and chest up, and start kicking behind you. When you’re using this method, you can use a timer to keep track of how long you can flutter kick. 

Enjoy an All-Inclusive Retirement at Copeland Tower Living

At Copeland Tower Living, we work with our residents to ensure they find the best ways to stay physically active in their retirement. Copeland residents enjoy the water aerobics classes not only to enhance their fitness but also because it’s an exciting opportunity to socialize with friends. 

“It’s just fun! You do an exercise with a group of people,” said Sally. 

Elaine said, “And we have a good leader;  she keeps us on our toes!”

Call us today for a personalized tour and to learn more about our classes, programs and lifestyle of Copeland Tower Living.  

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