If you want to stay fit and healthy but dread having to take up boring exercise routines, try water aerobics. It is one of those few workouts that are both effective and fun. Water aerobics is a set of rhythmic exercises performed in a shallow swimming pool. Its intensity can vary from moderate to high and it holds many benefits for your heart, muscles, and mental health.
There was a point of time when water aerobic exercises were associated only with the elderly. But times have changed and these exercises are now considered suitable for people of all age groups.
All activities that you may have done on land, such as jumping, walking, and jogging can be done while in the swimming pool. The buoyancy of water helps reduce the impact on your joints by 90% while exercising. However, water aerobics adds about 14% more resistance than ordinary exercises. This makes the workout more effectual than ordinary routines.
Water aerobics helps with flexibility since the exercises provide a great deal of motion without putting additional stress on your joints.
According to certain studies conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, water aerobics helps in combating fibromyalgia, as it increases blood flow to the muscles.
This form of fitness can be tailored to include warm-ups, cardiovascular exercises, and strength and resistance training. For this reason, it is said to be helpful even to those with chronic conditions like arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
Water Aerobics Workout Guide For Beginners
Here are some popular exercises that form a part of the water aerobics workout routine.
The Spiderman Routine
The Spiderman is a popular water aerobics exercise that is known to increase flexibility. To perform this exercise, stand inside the pool right by its edge, stabilize your body, and make a sweeping motion with your hands. As you do this, run your legs up the side of the pool and then back down. Do this four times, switching from one leg to another every time you finish one round of jogging.
The One-Legged Balance Routine
This water aerobics routine provides strength to your leg muscles and also helps improve your overall balance. You will need a noodle float for this exercise.
For this routine, you need to stand in waist-high water, lift your left knee high, and place the noodle float under your foot. Place your hands by your side and balance your body. Once you’re stable in this position, move your left knee to the side and maintain your balance in this posture for one minute. Repeat this exercise with your right knee to complete the set.
The Flybacks Routine
This exercise helps in improving your posture by working on the upper chest muscles, arms, and back.
For this exercise, get into a lunge-like position, with your left leg extended behind you and your right knee bent and stretched out in front of you. Stretch your arms out in front of your chest and then open them to your sides. Repeat this cycle for 8 to 15 times.
Resistance/ Cardio Combo
This helps strengthen your chest, arms, and back. It is also effective in helping you burn calories and increasing your heart rate.
You will need to straddle the noodle float for this three-minute workout. Much like riding a bicycle, pedal around the pool. Ensure that you’re sitting straight and your spine is in a vertical position while performing this routine. This helps in keeping your muscles stable. You can combine the Flybacks routine with this workout.
According to the American Heart Association, when it comes to water aerobics, it is important to work out 150 minutes every week, including both low-impact and intense exercises in your routine.
Water Aerobics – A Few Important Tips
When in the pool, do not go deeper than waist-high. Ensure that your feet touch the pool floor and your legs support your entire body weight. Also, it is important that your wear water shoes, as they will help improve traction. You can also try out webbed gloves that provide greater intensity and resistance to arm movements, making the workout more effective . Do remember to stay hydrated throughout the workout.
If you’re a beginner to water aerobics, it is important that you don’t overdo the routine. Once you get accustomed to this fun fitness exercise, working out to stay fit will not seem like a chore anymore!