Swimming is a great way to get exercise—no matter your age. But it’s especially beneficial for seniors trying to become more active. It’s easy on the joints, works your whole body, and can be really fun. First we want to introduce some exercises for you to try in the pool, and then we will introduce some of the planned pool activities for seniors.
Exercises in the Pool
Kicking, flutter or breaststroke, is a great way to get your heart rate up and a way to diversify your workout from just swimming. You can use a kickboard and do laps or you can hold to the edge of the pool and do stationary kicking.
Leg Lifts and Swings
Due to the water resistance, some normally easy activities can be more challenging and therefore better exercises in the pool. Leg lifts and swings are a great example of this concept. Essentially for lifts, you stand in the pool, and just lift your leg up to the side, hold it for five seconds, lower it back, and repeat. For swings, you swing your leg out to the front and hold it for five seconds, then swing it behind you and hold it for five seconds, and repeat. You can do as many repetitions as you feel you can do and it’ll really work your leg muscles!
This is a great exercise to work your arms. You start in water about chest-deep, with your arms straight in front of you resting just under the water with your palms down. From there, move your arms through the water to your sides, and then invert your palms and bring them back up to the surface. Try for five-ten repetitions of this!
These are just a few exercises you can try on your own in the pool, but there are many opportunities available here at the Y if you want a more structured swimming exercise, which are listed below:
Ways to Get Swimming at the Y
When we say “swimming,” we really mean any activity in the pool because everything counts and anything can be beneficial! Here are some of the classes and opportunities we offer here at the Lafayette Family YMCA:
Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program
This is a water class specifically designed to help those with arthritis and to lessen their pain and symptoms. Our trained instructor will lead you through activities specifically designed to improve joint movement. This is offered Monday–Thursday at 10:00–10:45am.
Fountain of Youth
This is a class designed for adults ages 55 years or older that focuses on cardio activity and muscle toning in the shallow end of the pool. This class is offered every every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1–2pm.
This class, available to all ages, is more physically rigorous than the two previously mentioned, but it’s still a great workout that can be modified to fit your needs and abilities.This class is designed to develop muscle strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. Our Aquaerobics class is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11–12.
Every Friday from 8:00–10:45am, where part of the pool is reserved solely for water-walking. Though this is individual and not instructor-taught, it’s a great chance to invite friends and have fun while working out.
And, finally, we offer open swim lap lanes almost always throughout the day, which gives you the opportunity to come and just swim laps. If you want to diversify your workout, try using a kickboard or changing strokes (breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle are all good and easily modified strokes to try).
The Y is here to help you become healthier and happier, even in your golden years, and swimming can be a great opportunity to do so. If you have any questions about the swim programs here, feel free to contact our front desk at (765) 474-3448 to ask!