10 Wonderful Water Workouts for Better Fitness After 50
One of the best things about summer is outdoor exercise. If you have access to an outdoor pool, it’ll be warm and ready for use! So, water workouts here we come!
Pools Are for More than Just Relaxation!
Sometimes it’s nice to lounge around in the water when the heat is too much, but it’s also a fun way to get your heart pumping.
Water workouts are great for your body, so take some time this summer to get moving in your favorite pool. They just may be the key to better fitness after 50!
Get Prepared for Your Water Workouts
To get the best workout possible from your pool time, you’ll need more than your favorite swimsuit and some trusted goggles. Some workout tools may cost you some cash, but they’re a necessity if you’re looking to use the pool for a more long-term routine.
Water shoes, water gloves, weights and kickboards can all come in handy. Water shoes provide traction on the pool floor to keep you where you need to be, and water gloves can help you zoom through water. Styrofoam weights or kickboards increase the resistance of your routine.
Design Your Workout
Designing your workout is easier said than done, right? What are your options for working out in the water? As with most exercising, you’ll want to start with a warm-up. Just because your mind is ready to go doesn’t mean your muscles are. Before you get near the pool, take at least five minutes to take a quick walk or so some jumping jacks. The jumping jacks can also be done in the pool, but they must be done in chest-deep water.
Strengthen Those Muscles
If one of your workout goals is to make your muscles stronger, try doing some k-treads in the pool. It’s a fairly simple move – imagine moving your body into a K shape: your arms go out with your hands cupped, while one leg stays down and the other goes straight out. This move targets the back, chest, arms, butt, abs and hamstrings.
Tread water with your arms, switching to extend each leg every five seconds for a total of 30 seconds.
Get That Heart Pumping
Water gloves a good tool for this next workout. Deep-water walking will get some cardio into your routine while focusing on strengthening your abs. The key to this exercise is to walk into chest-deep water, tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your back straight.
Once in position, walk while swinging your arms. If you need to, place a water noodle between your legs to help you stay above water if you walk into the deep end.
Tone Your Legs with this Water Workout
Because water workouts give excellent resistance, the pool is the perfect place to work on your legs. Once you’re standing in waist-deep water, swing your left leg forward quickly. Pull it back in, then swing it out to the side. Repeat this with both of your legs between 10 and 15 times. You’ll be feeling the burn in no time! Glass of water, anyone?
Remember to Rest
When working out in the pool, it can be easy to forget how far is too far. The buoyancy in water relieves aches and pains in the body, which makes it a great option for a workout, but it also means you have to be careful about knowing your limits.
People of all ages are advised to take to the pool to exercise for a variety of reasons. Exercising can be especially difficult for people with joint pains, but water exercise can help that.
In fact, there is a 19% decrease in pain after using an underwater treadmill instead of a traditional one. Even if you walk in the water without a treadmill, like the exercise mentioned above, you’ll notice an improvement in your ability to move and stretch without pain.
Once you’ve taken a moment to enjoy the benefits of the first half of your workout and get a sip of water, it’s time to get back in the pool!
Make Those Knees Work
Swim out to the part of the pool that’s about waist-deep. Bring your right knee up to a ninety-degree angle, then put your foot back down on the floor. Repeat with your left knee. Continue at a faster pace for about two minutes. When performing vertical exercises in the pool, you’ll experience 75% more resistance because of the increased drag on your limbs.
Strengthen Your Arms
Don’t leave the pool without focusing on your arms. Stand in chest-deep water and have your arms flat at your sides with your thumbs facing forward. Lift both arms to the surface, turning the palms to be flat while you move to increase resistance.
Return arms to your sides and repeat at a swift pace for two minutes. There are plenty of other arm workouts to try if this seems too easy, but it’s better to start out with something you know you can do and work your way up from there.
Splash Around to Burn Calories
Next, try doing some butterfly kicks. Put your back against the pool wall and lay your arms along the edge. Lift your legs out and kick at the surface for ten seconds with a ten-second rest. Doing this move in the water will speed up your heart rate and burn more calories than butterfly kicks on land.
Exercise Your Biceps
If you have Styrofoam weights, this one’s for you. Hold one weight in each hand underwater and curl them up to chest height, bringing them back down to be level with your waist. By adjusting the size of your pool weight, you’ll increase your resistance and isolate specific muscle groups.
Bounce in Place
Try jumping as high as you can out of the water and sinking back down into a squat ten times in a row, and you’ll feel your quads and butt start to work. This Frog Jump exercise doesn’t require you to ribbit, but it will make you sweat.
Finish with Some Knee Tucks
Finally, place your arms over your pool noodle and lift your knees to your chest. After putting your feet back down on the pool floor, repeat this movement for thirty seconds to work your core. Give it three to five rounds, and you’ve gotten a complete workout in!
Once you’ve hit these 10, go towel off and take a shower. You’ve earned it some relaxing pool time and a few rays.
Do you enjoy doing water workouts – swimming, water aerobics or something else? What workout goals do you have for the summer months? What changes are you making to control your weight and promote healthy aging? Please join the conversation in the comments section.
Jennifer Landis is a writer, blogger, mom, wife and health nut with a fierce love for peanut butter and naps. She practices yoga regularly even though her husband doesn’t think it counts as exercise. Fitness and nutrition are her cup of tea. You can find her online at www.mindfulnessmama.com