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5 Simple and Very Effective Water Aerobics Exercises for Seniors

Water aerobics is loaded with benefits for seniors and all ages alike. From water jogging to a 30 minute swim workout, pool exercises can be a great low impact workout to burn calories, tone muscles, reduce joint pain as well as recover from injuries.

We all know that it is important to maintain an exercise regimen as we age, but the reality is that joint pain and arthritis can impact seniors’ desire to work out. That is why water aerobics exercises for seniors are such a great way to incorporate physical activity into your golden years. Low impact exercises such as these are a fantastic way for older adults to get their heart rate up with less stress than typical exercises.

women in pool all doing exercises

Water aerobics exercises are an easy way for seniors to maintain their mobility since it is so easy on joints, while at the same time being great for increasing bone density. Joint pain can make even the thought of working out a daunting task, but these water aerobics exercises at home for seniors can be an easy way to dive into working out for anyone that is nervous to start.   (see what I did there?) 

Benefits of Water Aerobics Exercises for Seniors

As a senior, staying active can be difficult. Between achy joints and bones that aren’t quite as strong as they used to be, it can make it hard to get out there and get moving. The key though, is to stay active and to do the right exercises. That’s why water aerobics exercises are so good!

class of water aerobics of 5 ladies looking at the camera excited

Low Impact

They are low impact and easy on your joints because of the buoyancy of the water. Additionally, the resistance of the water allows you to get the benefits of strength training which is a great way to strengthen your bones.

Reducing Bone and Muscle Loss

This form of exercise is not only a good aerobic workout, but it’s also great for decreasing your muscle and bone loss, strengthening your core muscles, as well as increasing your flexibility and range of motion. 

How to Get Started with Pool Exercises

If you don’t have a pool at home, there are often fitness centers close by you could become a member of to have access to a swimming pool and water aerobic classes. Many have indoor pools which would be a great option for swimming year around.

If you are a senior wanting to get moving again, and wondering what type of exercise you should be doing, consider doing these aquatic exercises.

Doing the following water aerobics exercises for seniors is the best way for you to do just that without the pain that other exercises can cause. Like with any other exercise, keep these safety tips in mind before you begin.

  • Speak to your doctor before you begin a new exercise program
  • Never do water aerobics exercises for seniors alone (you’ll prefer doing it with others anyway)
  • Don’t push yourself beyond your limits
class of adults doing pool exercises facing away from camera

Equipment Needed for Pool Exercises

It is very possible to do water exercises and water aerobic classes without any equipment, but here is some basic beginner swim items you may want to get.

5 Water Exercises for Senior Citizens

Aqua Walking

If you are new to water aerobics and pool exercises, aqua walking is a great place to start. Aqua walking is exactly what it sounds like. You walk around in the pool. The water’s buoyancy can help to support your body’s weight which lessens the stress on your knees and helps to prevent back pain that may come from muscle strain with other exercises. 

Ideally you will walk in water that is between waist deep and chest deep to get the full benefit of the water resistance. Also, you may consider wearing water shoes to help prevent a slip in the water. 

How to do it:

Stand in the pool with your back straight, head forward and your arms moving in a jogging motion as you walk through the water. Keep your core tightened and walk head to toe in exaggerated, but practical movements, raising your knees high as you move. 

Aqua Jogging

Are you ready to take a step up from water walking? It’s time for water jogging! Aqua jogging is a great low-impact exercise that can help you improve your cardiovascular health. This water exercise gets your blood flowing and your heart pumping, which are both crucial to improved cardiovascular health. 

How to do it:

Aqua jogging is very similar to aqua walking, just sped up a bit. Just be sure to keep your back strain and recognize your limits.

Leg Workout in Water

Leg lifts are one of the best lower body strength-training exercises that you can do in the pool. 

How to do it:

Stand in the pool in chest-deep water. Lift one leg up and out to the side and lower it back down. Repeat to exhaustion with one leg and then move to the other leg. This exercise is great for strengthening your lower body, as well as improving balance.

Water Push-Ups

Water aerobics aren’t just for lower body fitness. You can get a great upper body workout too! Water push-ups, for example, are a wonderful way to strengthen your upper body muscles such as your chest, shoulders and arms. This can all be done without putting too much pressure on any of your joints. 

How to do it:

Stand next to the edge of the pool, placing your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart on the edge. Next, bend your arms while leaning toward the wall of the pool and push yourself back out. Repeat this exercise 10 times or until your arms are too tired. Try for 3 sets.

Flutter Kicks

Another one of my favorite water workouts are flutter kicks. Flutter kicks are a wonderful low-impact aerobic exercise that is great for increasing muscle mass, reducing extra weight, etc. The buoyancy of water will help keep you afloat on your kickboard while keeping your legs moving while doing this workout. 

How to do it: 

While you can do this exercise without a kickboard, the kickboard is a great tool to have on hand for them. If you have a kickboard, you simply hold your kickboard in front of you, while kicking your legs in a flutter motion. This will propel you through the water. Move from one end of the pool to the other using flutter kicks, until your muscles begin to tire. If you do not have a kickboard, simply move to the side of the pool and hold on to the edge, while flutter kicking in place.

Summary of Benefits of Water Aerobics for Seniors

Any and all of the above mentioned water exercises can help you to take positive steps toward improving your health. Workouts such as these aquatic exercises are beneficial when dealing with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, joint issues and arthritis pain, other mobility issues or you are simply looking to improve your heart health or lower your risk of heart disease. The health benefits are extensive.

As important as resistance training is for everyone, especially seniors, a swimming pool is a great option for good aerobic exercise using the natural resistance the water offers. The reduced force of gravity helps to reduce risk of injury and can help with chronic pain when doing these exercises on a regular basis.

If you are in your senior years and looking for a fun, low-impact workout that will help make regular exercise part of your life again, consider aquatic exercise! As you can see, these water exercises can help you to increase your freedom of movement and get you in better shape! This new exercise routine can change your life for the better!

To find a place to take water aerobics classes from qualified instructors, so you can add these forms of exercise into your daily routine, check out your local fitness center to find out if they have an indoor pool.

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