- Exercise & Fitness
Low Impact Exercise Water Aerobics
If you're looking for the best overall low impact exercise program that you can participate in, consider water aerobics as your workout method. Not only will you be surprised how incredibly less punishing this form of exercise is on your body but you won't believe some of the benefits.
Globally people invest in exercise equipment, join gyms or hit the pavement for hours of grueling exercise when there's an alternative that is relatively inexpensive and for the most part, pain free.
Swimming has long been known as a tremendous way to stay in shape and keep heart healthy but more and more people are turning to water aerobics as their workout of choice because of the many attractive benefits it offers with none of the side effects of other exercise programs.
Let's take a look at the many facets of water aerobics and you'll discover why this is quickly becoming so popular in all age groups and across the board in terms of any medical conditions.
PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING
No matter if you're a casual exerciser or you're totally into high level physical fitness training, water aerobics or swimming can replace any fitness program and give you at least the same if not more of a workout.
How does water aerobics compare to other exercise programs?
- Any form of swim exercise uses almost every major muscle group in your body
- It puts a tremendous amount of demand on heart and lungs
- Water aerobics helps you build muscle strength and endurance
- It improves posture and flexibility
- Swim exercising is great for pregnant women
- You can do water aerobics even if you've never worked out in your life
- People with arthritis, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia benefit greatly from water exercise
- Runners can achieve the same level of workout by running in the pool
- Water exercise does not put strain on tissues and joints like running, land-based aerobics or weight training but it achieves the same goals
- FACT: Because of the buoyancy factor, there isn't another more injury-free form of exercise to be found.
AMAZING FACTS ABOUT WATER AEROBICS
- Did you know that in the water, your body weight is 1/10th of what it is on land? So if you weigh 150 pounds on land, you only weigh 15 pounds when you're immersed in water that is up to your chin
- You can exercise in water repeatedly because there is so little impact
- Moving through water creates 12 times more resistance than moving through air
- Water aerobics are recommended for pregnant women to tone muscles needed in childbirth. It is said that water aerobics can lessen labor time and need for meds
- For people who are overweight, water aerobics puts you on the map to begin high level exercise right now before losing any weight
- Your resting heart rate is 10 beats per minute less in water and your maximum heart beat in water decreases by at least 10 to 30 beats per minute
- Water aerobics helps get rid of excess water and salt in the body naturally
- Swimming exercise is the best way to rehab after surgery or an injury
- Water aerobics allows your heart to work less hard and more efficiently while affording you the same workout as on land
- You can avoid all that sweating and huffing and puffing and achieve the same result
- FACT: Water exercise is more effective than land exercise for burning calories. Depending on how hard you work out, you can burn 400-700 calories per hour.
EXERCISE IN PREGNANCY
In my deep running water aerobics class, we had several pregnant women. After being medically cleared by their OB/GYN, they brought a note to the pool instructor who then helped them design a program most conducive to their pregnant state.
I should note here that these were not newly pregnant women. Most had been in water aerobics for months and were in tip-top shape - and most were at least 7 months pregnant.
To say that they were physically fit would be an understatement. They looked fantastic and they claimed that it helped them with the common discomforts of pregnancy such as low back pain, leg swelling, fatigue and even food cravings!
Unless there is a medical contraindication to exercise, swim aerobics is the best form of exercise during and after pregnancy. It helps women stay in good physical condition and keep their weight down during the pregnancy. Then it helps them get back into their best shape after the pregnancy.
Since again, it is low impact and lowers the heart rate, it is an excellent form of exercise for the mother and the baby growing within!
- FACT: Water aerobics provides psychological benefits as well as physical fitness benefits to the participant in terms of total relaxation as well as even some socialization pluses.
RESISTANCE TRAINING WORKOUT
What about the person who wants a heavy duty resistance training workout? Is that possible doing swim aerobics? You bet it is. As noted above, since there is 12 times more resistance in the water than on land in the air, you can ramp up your workout to include any manner of resistance training you desire. And all with the added benefit of no stress on your bones, joints and soft tissues.
There are all kinds of swimming resistance aids that you can use in the water to increase resistance and allow you to train at the same level as on land.
Just some of the many devices available for swim aerobic training:
- Hand weights
- Kick boards
- Foot weights
- Foot socks
- Webbed hand gloves
- Underwater treadmill
These are just some of the ways that you can turn up the intensity and cross train in the water. The nice thing about water workouts is that again, you can work out far longer and more times per day than on land.
- FACT: Because of the natural resistance of water, just walking in water, you can burn twice as many calories per hour as you would walking the same amount of time on land.
BEST ABDOMINAL EXERCISE
The best abdominal exercise can be found in a pool. That wouldn't seem to be the case but in fact, you wouldn't believe the amount of sit-ups or crunches you can do without feeling a thing.
Again, in water, due to the buoyancy factor, your body weighs less so those murderous sit-ups that kill you on land are a snap to do in water.
You can do vertical crunches, you can do side crunches, you can do horizontal crunches.
Core strengthening is easily performed in water because it can be done without the pain. You naturally have better range of motion and thus can perform exercises that you probably couldn't on land or certainly not as many.
Even if you have arthritis or other debilitating conditions, the float quality of your body will enable you to tone muscles such as your abdominals which in turn strengthens your back and torso, and all without hardly noticing it. You can do multiple reps without killing your abdomen, your back or other parts of your body.
And for those who say that there isn't a workout unless it involves jogging, you can have your cake and eat it too. Deep water running is just as effective as running on land except that it's probably 100% better for your bones and joints. You can simulate your running style in the water and accomplish all that you could accomplish with land-based running.
- FACT: Swim aerobics just as any form of exercise boosts your mood and your energy level. More so than any other form of exercise though, water exercise is extremely relaxing.
Deep Water Running
BEST AEROBIC WORKOUT
Having been an active participant for more than a year in water aerobics, I can attest that this is the best form of exercise anyone can do. The reason that I think it works is that anyone can do it, no matter what medical conditions or limitations they may have.
You can be male or female, in the best of health or coming back from an injury or operation. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have going for you or against you. Anyone can exercise in water and benefit...even disabled persons.
You can also work out at your own pace and easily ramp up your workout if you think you need to do more toning or burn more calories. You can work out several times a day and not be overly fatigued. You can swim laps, jog or do many land-based exercises underwater.
For instance you can do:
- Crunches and sit-ups
- Jogging or walking
- Swim laps
- Biceps and triceps curls
- Thigh master work
- Core stabilization
- Meditation and relaxation exercises
- Resistance training
In short, water aerobics or water exercise in any form is something that most people can engage in for relatively little cash outlay compared to regular gym memberships and reap the enormous benefits in a very short time.
Muscle toning and shaping begins to be evident after only a few weeks of water aerobics. Circulation and breathing improve almost overnight and fatigue diminishes the more you participate.
Especially if you swim outside for part of the year in a water aerobics class, you'll quickly be addicted to the energizing effects of water and sun. Think of all that natural vitamin D3 you're getting!
If you've been looking for an exercise program that's just right for you, I don't think there is a better overall conditioning or training program out there that's more effective than water aerobics.
Check out your local pool today and see what you can see. No matter what condition you're in, you won't be sorry you invested your time in water exercise.