"Basic Water Information" 4 Seniors

This is an Aquatic pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 12790)

After doing a warm-up (See "How-To" Warm-up 4 Seniors") here is some basic information in regards to teaching in the pool...and basic cueing information. If you already know this...just skip it!

Cueing premise: Most people can only think about one thing at a time. So when we, as instructors, tell them to do a certain exercise -- that is all they are thinking about! We have to cue our participants to remember what we think is important. I think there are three things that are really important:

Throughout the class I tell people the following cues:

Basic Water Information:

1 - Bouyancy. If a person is in water up to their waist and they weigh 100 pounds, their weight is approximately cut in half or 50 pounds. If at chest level they would take off approximately 75% of their land weight (weighing about 25 pounds) and at neck depth their weight would only be 10% or about 10 pounds! What a gift water aerobics can be for our seniors with orthopedic problems!

2 - Resistance. Water provides between 11 and 12 times the resistance of air. Resistance is increased in two ways --
a) by increasing the surface of the body part, and
b) by increasing the speed of the body part going through the water.

NOTE: Since resistance of the water is a prime reason for doing water aerobics, why would instructors having participants do arm exercises with the arms out of the water for minutes at a time? Also, people who are taking water aerobics are doing so because they want (or need) to be in the water. Vertical Aqua jumps and leaps do have the arms coming out and/or over the head. Other than some of the jumps, I keep my Seniors arms in the pool to have the water support their shoulders and to take advantage of the properties of the water. Better safe than sorry! As a rule of thumb, keep all limbs in the pool!

3 - Heart Rate. In the water a person's heart rate decreases approximately 13% or about 17 beats per minute. A useful chart is available in the Aquatic Fitness Professional Manual from the Aquatic Exercise Association. If you are using heart rate rather than Percieved Exertion to assess cardio work levels you need to be aware that there is a lowering of the heart rate when in the water -- also be aware of participants who are on medications that lower the heart rate.

4 - Water Pressure. One of the effects of water pressure, besides lowering heart rate, is that it exerts pressure on the skin which assists with circulation. Deeper water can be helpful for seniors with conditions that cause their extremities to have poor blood circulation.

Use factors of bouyancy to assist seniors who have orthopedic problems. They will love the freedom of being able to do exercises in the water that they cannot even attempt on land!

Use resistance to increase workload -- either by angling the hands to catch more water or using drag equipment to increase resistance. (Being aware of the stress that can place on the shoulders! Bending the arm at the elbows can lessen the stress at the shoulder. But beware of "tennis elbow".)

As a rule of thumb, deeper is better for seniors with orthopedic concerns and with poor circulation.

Provide alternate movements for seniors who are unable or prohibited from performing certain exercises. More on that at another time...

Hope this helps you!



Added by Meg at 8:19 PM on Friday, February 7, 2003 EST. Add to favorites (view favorites)
(Email: desry@bellsouth.net)
From: Chapel Hill, North Carolina (USA)
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