A teaching manual for instructor training in an alternative, water-based relaxation exercise program for older adults.

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Riel-nail, Robyn
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Middle Tennessee State University
A limited number of comprehensive instructional manuals exist on water-based relaxation exercise programs for the older adult population, and even fewer materials on teaching and training instructors in these programs. Success with individualized water based programs depends on skills and knowledge of older adult educators, aquatic teachers, aqua therapy specialists and/or health and fitness instructors. Therefore, thorough training techniques are essential to successful programs.
There is a need for a manual with content materials, instruction, demonstration technique, illustrated exercise photographs and recommendations for a safe, effective, low intensity Kikou program. The Kikou training manual would serve to train instructors with providing safe exercise progressions as well promoting fitness and wellness for the older adult population.
Water Tai Chi, Ai Chi and Aquatic Yoga, water-based forms and Tai Chi Ball and Chi Kung, land-based forms were selected for this study because the foundation for the five techniques focus on diaphragmatic breathing, rhythmic body movements, visualization and relaxation concepts. The program's name was chosen for the Japanese word, "Kikou" meaning slow diaphragmatic breathing exercise.
The primary purpose of this study is to design a comprehensive course training manual for the Kikou water-based program. The manual is intended to provide the Kikou trainee with knowledge necessary to teach and demonstrate skills to conduct Kikou exercise classes. The intent is to train new and less experienced aquatic teachers of older adults, as well as individuals from a broad range of backgrounds, as Kikou course instructors.
The Kikou program includes a series of 50 body-specific relaxation exercises designed exclusively for an aquatic environment specific to the older adult. The Kikou course training manual addresses the following: course organization and administration, safety and pool practices, demonstration techniques, practice session guidelines, relaxation technique background and exercise modification for adults with health-related problems. Also included are nine lessons illustrating 50 photographs with step-by-step instructions as well poolside instructional cue cards for lamination. The Kikou program is an excellent "stand alone" course for the older adult population and/or may be implemented in other water-based programs.
Major Professor: Jon MacBeth.