February 16, 2009
Unless you have a pool at home, water aerobics is yet another workout that doesn’t really lend itself to working out at home. But it is such a great gently workout perfect for anyone that needs to get fit while putting the least stress possible on joints. It is also a good way for severely overweight people to get moving. Even if you were planning on working out at home, I’d like to to consider taking a water aerobics class.
Everyone needs exercise in their life. Exercise keeps our heart and lungs in shape and promotes longevity. But, exercise can be hard on the joints, especially older joints. If you don’t want to ruin your body while you are trying to get in shape, try water workouts.
Even if you can’t swim, water workouts can benefit you. The body feels differently in the water. If you’ve ever swam or played around in the water, you’ll notice that your legs feel like lead when you try to pull yourself out.
Each time you move around in the water you are actually displacing the weight of the water and giving your body a workout. Someone turned that into a workout that is easy and non-jarring for the joints but still gives a total body workout.
Water aerobic workouts can be done in a few ways. Perform the moves on your own in a community pool, use a water aerobics DVD at your backyard pool, or take a water aerobics class at your gym or the YMCA. The moves are not hard to learn and you’ve probably done them before.
The same workouts that you perform in an aerobics class can be adapted for the pool. Water aerobics can seem like more fun than a workout, but just wait until you try to step out of the pool!
Classes usually begin with a warm up in the water consisting of running in place or slowly swimming a few laps. If you can’t swim, don’t worry. You can wear a flotation belt around your waist or use flotation boards to keep your balance and your head above water.
Most of the moves are performed in waist deep to shoulder deep water. Standing on the bottom of the pool is permitted and you get the same workout. Using flotation devices, you can perform the moves without touching the bottom of the pool which works the abdominal muscles even harder as you try to maintain your balance.
Water aerobics are great for the entire body. Muscles get a workout as you move against the force of the water. Spongy water dumbbells are also used for upper body workouts and as balancing tools. The dumbbells look like toys out of the water and can have one or more sponge weights on each end. Once those weights are held underwater, they feel more like twenty pounds instead of twenty ounces.
Water aerobics will raise your heart rate and give you a good weight workout. You’ll think that this workout isn’t vigorous enough because you aren’t getting overheated and sweating but you’d be wrong. Water workouts are one way that people with joint problems or other limitations can still get a meaningful workout.
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