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Summer Fitness for Seniors

Summer is almost here and that means it is time to bring back a summer class that our residents really enjoy. In my retirement community, I have a fitness instructor who creates the fitness elements of our monthly calendar. I am lucky in that respect, as the demands of the residents for fitness programs continues to increase all the time. It is a full time job to come up with programs that keep residents inspired and active.

The class that we revive each summer is water aerobics. The instructor teaches it from the pool deck, but it can also be taught from within the pool. Movements for students in this class are similar to those done on land, but provides a stress free environment, thanks to the water. If you don't have an instructor on staff, and are not budgeted to hire someone, you may consider teaching the class yourself. If you are like me, I love having a reason to get out of the office and interact with the residents.... and to think I would be working out also is an extra plus. Here is a video that I found on the web that explains how to teach water aerobics. I also found a DVD that is specific to senior adults.

Part of the pool class that is taught in my community includes the use of water weights. There are many benefits to strength training in the water. There is a cost involved in purchasing the weights and a consideration on where they will be stored when they are not in use, but it is well worth the investment.

Of course, when you think about the pool you probably think about swimming. Do you think that it is good for seniors, over the age of 60 or not? Well, studies show that it is! This is a hard "class" to lead, so I suggest that you and/or your fitness professional, remind the residents in your community of the benefits. You might add it to your calendar as a specific time to swim laps if your pool is designed to handle multiple swimmers. Our pool is not, and most of our lap swimmers have organized themselves to permit each other space to swim in the early morning hours.

Something new that we are considering is relaxation in the water. I know that it does not sound like anything, but as you would read in the previous link, relaxing is key in healing a person's body as well as their mind. Read all about and let me know if it sounds worthwhile to you or maybe your retirement community is already incorporating this into your existing fitness program.

And lastly, the newest craze, is performing yoga in the pool! Residents have been doing chair aerobics for awhile now, and the class is very well attended. I wonder if they would be willing to put their swim suits on and come to the pool to try yoga in the pool?  I did find an instructional video on water yoga that I found interesting on YouTube. If you want to own your own DVD, here is one that is available on Water Yoga

We also have a Tai Chi class that is held inside and done using chairs. Movements are done from a seated position as well as standing. This class can also be taken into the pool. Check this video out as another option for your calendar.

Remember that a good fitness and activities program includes something for everyone! What new summer exercise class will you try this summer?



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