Water aerobics: Try this mix of strength training and cardio to stay fit
It can get hard to keep up with your workout routine in the scorching summer heat. But what if we told you that instead of sweating it out in a crowded gym, you can find yourself floating in a pool and still burn calories. Sounds pretty magical, doesn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what water aerobics is all about – a delightful pool exercise experience that combines the joy of water play with a full-body workout. But water exercises aren’t just about fun and games. They are a highly effective form of exercise that packs a serious punch when it comes to fitness. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of water aerobics.
In the world of fitness, water aerobics has gained significant popularity due to its numerous benefits. This low-impact exercise combines the resistance and buoyancy of water to provide a refreshing and effective workout. It’s a misconception that aqua aerobics is meant only for the senior citizens. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or someone seeking a gentle exercise routine, water aerobics offers a range of advantages for all fitness levels.
What is water aerobics?
Water aerobics, also known as aqua aerobics or aquatic fitness, is a form of exercise performed in the water, usually in a pool. It combines cardiovascular activities, strength training and flexibility exercises to provide a well-rounded workout. Participants typically have to join a water aerobics class where they stand in waist-deep or even deeper water, and instructors guide them through various exercises to the beats of high-energy music.
The exercises involved in water aerobics can vary. But they typically include moves such as water walking or jogging, jumping jacks, leg kicks, arm curls, and core exercises. Additionally, equipment like foam dumbbells, pool noodles and water resistance bands may be used to add resistance and intensify the workout.
Health benefits of water aerobics
1. Increased resistance
The water’s resistance provides a natural form of resistance training, which helps strengthen muscles without the need for heavy weights. As you move through the water, your muscles work harder, enhancing both strength and endurance. The resistance also helps improve cardiovascular fitness by engaging large muscle groups, leading to an effective full-body workout. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research demonstrated that water aerobics exercises using resistance equipment increased muscular strength and power in young women.
2. Low impact on joints
One of the primary benefits of water aerobics is its low-impact nature. The buoyancy of water reduces the strain on your joints, making it an ideal exercise for individuals with arthritis, joint pain, or those recovering from injuries. A study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation compared the effects of land-based and water-based exercise on pain reduction and physical function in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. The results showed that water exercise significantly reduced pain and improved physical function. Water aerobics allows you to engage in a challenging workout without subjecting your body to excessive stress.
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3. Improved flexibility and range of motion
The buoyancy of water supports your body, allowing for greater freedom of movement. Water aerobics helps increase flexibility and range of motion, promoting better joint mobility and reducing the risk of injuries. Regular participation in water aerobics can contribute to enhanced overall flexibility, making it easier to perform daily activities with ease.
4. Reduced impact on the cardiovascular system
As per a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, water aerobics improved cardiovascular fitness and reduced blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. Water aerobics is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health without placing excessive strain on the heart. The water’s buoyancy assists in maintaining optimal blood flow and reduces the risk of high-impact injuries associated with activities like running or jumping. The rhythmic movements involved in water aerobics help strengthen the heart, improve circulation, and lower blood pressure.
5. Enhanced balance and coordination
Water aerobics challenges your balance and coordination due to the resistance provided by the water. The need to stabilize yourself against the water’s movement engages the core muscles, promoting better balance and overall body control. These benefits extend beyond the pool and can help prevent falls and improve performance in other physical activities.
Dive into the pool, embrace the resistance of the water, and experience the wonderful benefits that water aerobics has to offer!