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Older Folks Strokes
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Ken Tao Offline
Occasional Swimmer
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Post: #1
Exclamation Older Folks Strokes
Thoughts on how an older person can benefit from exercising in the water.

You may already know that as I approach 62 I am swimming stronger and faster than any time in my life. Most of this improvement is from what I have garnered from surfing the internet., watching Youtube for swim technique. All this while observing the stop watch, and my body clock as well.

Looking at the Master Swimmer record book, I am humbled by the incredible fast times in competitive swimming categories in swimmers up to 100 years old. Apparently if you have it at 20 you can keep it all your life.

However, for most older people, there are lesser levels of ability. There are also health limitations that prevent full use of swimming facilities. Ironically these are the people who can most benefit from activity in the water. This topic “Older Folks Strokes” is meant to address the ways older people can optimize their time in the water!
(This post was last modified: Mar 12, 2011 3:55pm by Zash.)
Jan 6, 2011 6:54am
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Ken Tao Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Older Folks Strokes
As a disclaimer I must first of all state that I am neither a medical doctor, nor sport science researcher. Anything I write is based on personal intuition, which may be right or may be wrong.
An older person should take up an exercise program only within the realm of their ability, and should seek advice of a doctor before embarking on mild to strenuous activity in the water or out, should be regulated by professional medical assistants, and monitored by professional trainers and coaches. They should be observed at all times by lifeguards, or active with a buddy or a group.
Jan 7, 2011 10:20am
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Ken Tao Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Older Folks Strokes
For older folks in the pool the object is to keep moving. In order to get an aerobic effect a half hour to 45 minutes is a good time goal. The image of older people trudging through the water might be boring or tedious to the participants. Regarding their levels of strength, just walking the shallow end of the pool is good for people with weak muscles. They can mix it up by walking backwards, or stepping sidewise in order to alternate use of the muscles in the legs. They can walk hands over head or doing round motions with their arms. They can pull themselves along the edge of the pool as well.
I see groups sing together in the pool as a diversion. This is fun, and also develops a cadence. I think this is a good way to take the mind off the pain some might be experiencing. If it’s cold weather using a hot bath to walk in is an incentive to keep going.
No matter how mild the pace the instructor should find ways to keep people positive and moving. If the “KEEP MOVING” is done right the older person should benefit immensely!
Jan 8, 2011 11:07pm
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Ken Tao Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Older Folks Strokes
Props in the pool may also be used. Floats such as arm and leg supports, and tire floats are good as long as the person is stable in the water, and feels secure. If it’s an outdoor pool, sunscreen, and sun hats may cut down on glare from the water, and sunburns.
These are all easy and inexpensive things. Compared to the expense and inconvenience of doctor visits and medicine regimens, that may be avoided or lessened by staying healthy and fit with a mild exercise program right by home base.
Jan 12, 2011 7:34am
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Ken Tao Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Older Folks Strokes
–-health/wealth ratio—Of course this is not a scientific function, but rather like a rule of thumb concept. Ken Tao believes if you use health as the objective the numerator should be high if you are in perfect health or improving to excellent health regardless of the amount of money you pour into your health program. Money put into regaining or maintaining your health has ever diminishing returns unless there is a greater leverage of time and effort put into the activity of healthy living and exercise.
Furthermore, as Dorian Gray showed us, money can’t buy us out of aging, and what money we put into maintaining our exterior appearance, will not prevent the aging within. It’s DNA and well balanced living habits that decide who will live a healthy life to 100, and who will live a chronically ill life to 50.
Jan 13, 2011 11:28am
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SwimCoachTools Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Older Folks Strokes
What kinda Peyote are you on???
Jan 13, 2011 12:07pm
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Ken Tao Offline
Occasional Swimmer
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Post: #7
RE: Older Folks Strokes
Oldsters either have lots of free time, or should make the time to benefit from exercise. Access to a gym or spa or country club wastes a lot of time to arrive, socialize, fuss with clothing and equipment, etc.
Just getting out the door to do a brisk walk, or ride on a bicycle for over 30 minutes a day is sufficient. One should work up a sweat, get home, shower. If one’s on medication a good meal first before ingesting pills, a relaxing evening as a prelude to a solid night sleep. What could be more ideal than this simple regimen.

[quote='SwimCoachTools'

Just some musings about what it is to get old in style. For young guys no need to take me too seriously. You can chalk it off as just recreational material. Sooner or later everyone will become like old fart Ken, "old", and may want to share thoughts on their health and mortality. What better place than to do it on Swim Forums!Scared
(This post was last modified: Jan 14, 2011 8:00am by Ken Tao.)
Jan 14, 2011 7:43am
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Ken Tao Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Older Folks Strokes
---Working Through Pain--- Many believe that moving around in the water is the best way to confront pain while exercising. If pain is a state of mind then the best way to relieve the pain is in the water. Floatation and the support of a persons body in water gives a medium of bounciness that you just don’t get on land based exercise.
Of course chronic conditions exist with their complement of pain. However, it’s possible to work through the pain to get to a point of bearing mild exercise. Some medicinal help may improve ones movement, and help build pain tolerance, which exists as different states of mind for different oldsters.
Much of the pain people experience is the anaerobic aspect of their bodies. What we usually refer to cramps or soreness is often a by-product of poor respiration. To be able to get oxygenated blood to all places in the body to maintain healthy cells, and to eliminate carbon/hydrogen waste processes efficiently, the robustness of cardiovascular “muscle systems need improve. The relative pain trade-off for a more healthy and efficient body is well worth the effort considering a little more exercise each day should likewise mean a little less pain each day!
Jan 15, 2011 6:29am
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Ken Tao Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Older Folks Strokes
********Some thoughts about Oxygen for improved respiration:
-Oxygen is very interactive in a watery environment. So a swimming pool is a great place to get oxygen enriched air.
-Vitamin E and C clear the cardiovascular system, and repair the cells of the body.
-A lot of Oxygen goes to the digestive system after eating, which is why a person should not eat in the few hours before exercising.
-Drinking, smoking, and drugs play havoc with the respiratory system.
-Efficient breathing using both of the lungs, belly, and head to the maximum effect in both inhaling and exhaling. This in itself is important for minimizing pain.
-The body in a lower gravity environment (floating in water) will accumulate less lactic acid. This is especially true if the body stays horizontal in the water since the cardiovascular system is less stressed by gravity in a prone position.
-The idea of alternating between hot and cold medium can stimulate the immune system. The white blood cells, working with oxygen enriched red blood cells, the perspiration cleaning the body of waste. Five minutes in a sauna followed by a dip in the pool….. Great Stuff!!!
(This post was last modified: Jan 16, 2011 8:16am by Ken Tao.)
Jan 16, 2011 8:08am
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Zash Offline
Administrator
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Post: #10
RE: Older Folks Strokes
(Jan 16, 2011 8:08am)Ken Tao Wrote:  ********Some thoughts about Oxygen for improved respiration:
-Oxygen is very interactive in a watery environment. So a swimming pool is a great place to get oxygen enriched air.

Not sure if I agree with that. Swimming pools don't usually have very good air quality, especially if its warm - sometimes you can even start choking on the air when there's too much chlorine.
Jan 16, 2011 6:01pm
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