Summer Too Hot to Handle? It’s Cool by the Pool!

July 25, 2014
Senior Woman Swims for Exercise

Water aerobics is the perfect summer exercise for older adults

It’s July in Houston and it’s hot.  But we still need to keep moving and exercising.  Water aerobics in a cool, clear pool is the answer for most older adults and their caregivers.

Water aerobic exercise is the perfect exercise for most aging parents and their caregivers.  The buoyancy of the water makes exercise easier on aching joints while providing a good cardiovascular workout and increasing metabolism.  In addition, water aerobic exercise can increase strength, improve balance, and slow down age-related muscle mass.

Plus, splashing in a pool with friends is fun, refreshing, and invigorating.

Here’s three tips to get you started on a water aerobics program:

1.  Pool walking.

It’s as simple as that.  Walk at a steady comfortable pace and you’ll feel the added resistance of the water.  If you need the extra support, walk near the edge for additional stability.

2.  Lower body and upper body workout.

Lower body and upper body workouts can be as simple as movements within the water that target arms and legs. Then, as you gain strength and endurance a few additions such as hand and leg weights can be added for more strength training and calorie burning action.

Your water aerobics instructor can guide you in technique and adaptations to suit your specific needs.

3.  Find a water aerobics course in your neighborhood.

You can design a water aerobics program on your own.  But, the encouragement of your exercise buddies and program leader will help you stay on track and attend classes on a regular basis.  The YMCA Active Older Adult program has several water aerobic classes to choose from based on level of difficulty and participation.

Additionally, most public pools have accommodations such as ramps or chair lifts for swimmers with limited mobility.

As with any exercise program, consult your healthcare provider to ensure that this exercise regimen is the right fit for you.  Then, tuck your hair in that swim cap, grab your swim shoes, and jump on in — the water’s fine!


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