Would you like an exercise routine that can provide a solid workout and a lot of resistance work, while being very easy on the body? Look no further than aqua aerobics (also known as water aerobics). From people just beginning to work out, to experienced runners looking to cross-train and give tired legs a rest, aqua aerobics is a great choice!
Benefits of Aqua Aerobics Exercise
According to Livestrong.com, one of the best benefits of aqua aerobics is the low impact of the workout. As stated by the American Council on Exercise, working out in water makes you feels about 90 percent lighter. Your body doesn’t feel the same impact when you jump or run in water that you would on land. For those people with arthritis, back problems, foot or leg injuries and knee conditions, the low impact of aqua aerobics is the perfect solution.
What are the options for aqua aerobics? Today there are a lot of choices, like step classes, zumba workouts, kick boxing, tai chi and yoga to name a few. The benefits of being in the water show themselves at this point. Since moves are performed underwater, only you know if you missed that fancy move in the zumba class. Depending on the intensity of your movements, you can expect to burn between 400 and 500 calories per hour. Generally, faster movements which use both upper and lower body will bring about the greatest calorie burn, and if you can work out in a bit deeper water, that helps as well.
According to one article, when you exercise in water, you can work against 12 times the resistance of air. This translates to a higher metabolism and healthier body. These days, many water aerobic classes also use water paddles, noodles, buoys and kickboards to further enhance strength gains.
For runners looking to cross train, as described by Active.com, aqua jogging is a wonderful workout. For a runner who wants to continue to increase their cardiovascular capacity without the wear and tear of the running trail, the benefits of aqua jogging are excellent. Taking the break from the trail, especially for those training for longer distances, is necessary at times. To give tired legs a break and still get in a solid workout that raises your heart rate – it’s a winning situation. Since water is thicker than air, the resistance is incredible. Pushing your limbs through the pool strengthens muscles and joints, while the buoyancy of the water allows you to get in a tough run with very little recovery time needed.
It’s recommended that you jog in a pool deep enough so your feet don’t touch the bottom, since shallower depths will cause joint impact. Also, a belt is suggested when you start out, a flotation device that will wrap around your middle and assure proper form. That’s really all you need, and you jog in the water with the same running form you would on land. You’ll move more slowly than on land, but with greater resistance, so measure your workout by time, not distance. You can increase the difficulty of the workout by increasing leg turnover, instead of trying for greater speed. Remember, you’ve got the increased resistance of water to account for. So now one of your weekly workouts can be an aqua jogging session. It will also work for intervals, and timed speed work in the water is a wonderful workout.
For runners who are injured, the pool can allow you to maintain your fitness level without aggravating the injury. One injured runner ran 6 days a week for 8 months while an injury healed, and after returning to the trails, the person discovered no loss of fitness level.
Aqua aerobics offer numerous possibilities for great workouts, and are a wonderful fitness tool. When you come out of the water breathing hard and feeling invigorated from that zumba class, but with no joint ache from the normally high impact workout, you’ll see why the water is such a great workout space. Have you tried water aerobics yet?
Becky Flanigan writes for In The Swim. She has 3 kids with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely golden retrievers. When she’s with her family, she spends many happy hours at their swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs splash and play. A hands on person, she has learned many valuable tips pool maintenance over the years. She is also an ambitious runner, and diligently training for her first half marathon. Find her on twitter @Becky_Flanigan