Today, to counter their stress filled lifestyle, people are shifting their focus to health and fitness. There are many fitness methods that one can adopt such as running, cycling swimming, yoga, aerobics etc. Most of these are popular among people who are taking to fitness or are already into fitness. However, there is a new form of exercise- Aquatic exercise and Aqua aerobics that is getting popular.
Aqua aerobics or exercise arrived almost over two decades ago but, it has gained popularity in India only 5-6 years ago. Aqua aerobics uses the buoyancy of water coupled with your own body weight as a training tool to build endurance and get into shape.
Aquatic exercise is a low impact exercise that takes the pressure off your bones, joints and muscles. Water offers natural resistance which helps to strengthen the muscles. It provides almost 14% more resistance than air, which means your muscles get more toned in water and there is almost no impact on the bones, joints and muscles.
Why Aqua exercise?
You weigh only 10% of your body weight when you are in the water. When a person weighing 100kg or who has arthritis in joints or cannot do any exercise while on land due to the gravitational pull, as he enters the water, the load is lifted off the joints and he can do exercise without any pain.
For elderly who have difficulty in walking, sitting and moving, this is the best way to work out and stay fit. And, the best part is you can do these exercises even if you don’t know how to swim.
Aquatic exercise has amazing benefits: Here is a list
- It improves muscle endurance and strength. Pool water provides resistance which strengthens the muscles and boosts cardio intensity and improves flexibility.
- Water exercise is good for people with joint injuries or infections or who have had a recent surgery –great way to stay fit and shorten recovery time and heal faster.
- A pool workout gives better balance, agility and endurance.
- Pool workouts are great fat burners. You can burn much higher level of calories in a shorter time in the pool. You can burn about 400-500calories in one hour.
- Working out in the pool doesn’t feel like an arduous task, you enjoy doing it and thus there are higher chances that you will stick to this routine. Since aquatic exercise is a low impact exercise there is no age bar for it. Water is therapeutic and removes the pain. Water has a healing effect and can distress the body and mind too!
- Water resistance is not only for muscles, in fact, water pressure actually works with your blood as well and enables good blood circulation decreasing blood pressure and keeps the heart also in good condition.
- Aqua aerobics can satisfy that need to feel cool in warmer temperatures while still enabling us to exercise.
Aqua exercises have a great bonding effect as it can be done together and there are positive benefits to be derived from these workouts.
Precautions for the Pool Workout:
Before starting any pool exercise program, always check with your physician to make sure pool exercises are right for you.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Water shoes will help to provide traction on the pool floor.
- Water level can be waist or chest high. This way your feet will have good contact with the pool floor and your leg muscles will be able to support some of your weight.
- Use a Styrofoam noodle or floatation belt/vest to keep you afloat in deeper water.
- Slower movements in the water will provide less resistance than faster movements.
- You can use webbed water gloves, Styrofoam weights, inflated balls, or kickboards for increased resistance.
- Never push your body through pain during any exercise.
Although you will not notice that you sweat with pool exercises, it is still important to drink plenty of water. Drink water before and after your water workout to avoid dehydration
In my next blog..I will share the various pool workouts and procedure to do it. Stay tuned!