My Dad, of all people, asked me the other week about water workouts. He’s never been a big one for the pool, and for years was an active walker. Then his knees started bothering him, and one of his walking buddies raved about the gentleness of working out in the water. Dad asked me why I was so hooked on aqua aerobics, and here’s what I told him:
It’s easy to start. “Dad, it’s not that complicated – you don’t have to go get geared up to have a great water workout.” He wanted details, so I told him that if he wanted to continue something similar to his walking, aqua jogging was a great place to start in the water. He could just head to the pool when the lap lanes were open, and start walking up and down at a brisk pace. It would be a great and gentle workout routine.
Try a class. If he wanted to try something else, he could throw in an aqua aerobics workout class, where the instructor would lead the people through some great cardio, leg and upper body work. I gave him some great sites with more information about aqua aerobics workouts. Even though he’s getting older now, he’s on top of the internet, and loves research, so I knew he would read everything I gave him.
- Water Aerobics Routines for Seniors
- Water Aerobics and Water Fitness Exercises
- Water Exercise for Seniors
It has more exotic options. I know my Dad has wanted to reduce stress in his life, so I suggested he could also try an aqua tai chi class, or yoga in the water. I go to those aqua aerobics classes when I need a good stretch, or when I’ve had a stressful day, and want to unwind. Dad has been so busy and active, I thought he would like those options, and they are very gentle exercises. He could also try water paddling, where he holds on to the side of the pool, and then kicks his legs to get the workout. I know Dad isn’t much into swimming, but he would like working out his legs with this exercise. There are also weight workouts which can be done in the water, and classes where you can learn how to do a great weight routine in the water, using small weights, or just the water itself.
There are wonderful benefits. Dad had not worked out for a while, because of his knees, so I knew he would like the gentleness of a water workout. Water provides great buoyancy, which means that the person’s body is held up by the water, and makes them feel lighter in the water. That will mean less chance of injury for him, and less joint pain after the workout. Now that Dad is a bit older, he has to factor in those benefits and be more mindful of taking it easy on his body. The other great benefit of water workouts is resistance, since it takes more effort to move through the water, providing the work. Compared to lifting weights in the gym, a water workout is very gentle, and that’s why people like it so much.
Helps with ailments. It has been proven that just 30 minutes of a water workout can bring the blood sugar level into normal range, which is good news for those with diabetes. Aqua aerobics can also provide benefits by increasing metabolism, slowing down age related loss of muscles mass and reaction time, and lead to an overall better sense of well being.
I went by to see Dad this week, after he had tried his first aqua aerobics class. “How was it, Dad?” His big smile told me all I needed to know!