Is Water Aerobics a Good Workout?
Although many people consider water aerobics a senior citizen workout, this form of exercise provides a variety of health benefits to people of all ages and activity levels. The warm water in the pool works to support your body and to provide resistance against your movements. A water aerobics class is a good workout for the heart, muscles, joints and mind.
What It Is
A water aerobics workout is an aerobics class performed in a swimming pool. Performed in either shallow or deep water, a water aerobics class typically involves walking, jogging, jumping jacks, a variety of kicks and knee lifts, among several other moves.
Because a water aerobics class keeps the body moving and the heart rate increased, the class provides significant cardiovascular benefits. The Health Care Center website explains that a 45-minute class can burn between 350 and 600 calories. Additionally, because the water movements are less stressful on the body, most people can work out longer in the water. When combined with a healthy diet, a regular water aerobics class can contribute to successful weight loss.
Power of Resistance
A water aerobics class provides an effective workout for nearly every muscle and every joint in the body. As your body moves, the water constantly resists your movements. As a result, your muscles must work harder to push against the resistance. To increase the intensity of the workout, use water barbells, foam cylinders or kickboards.
A significant advantage of water aerobics is that the workout can be easily customized to meet individual needs. People who are new to exercise should have no difficulties performing the simple movements of a water aerobics class. Participants looking for an advanced workout can add ankle or wrist weights to make the movements more challenging. Additionally, water aerobic is a non-weight-bearing exercise, making it an ideal option for people with arthritis and osteoporosis, pregnant women, the elderly and anyone suffering from hip, knee or ankle problems.
Participants who cannot swim well should wear a flotation device during a water aerobics class. If you feel uncomfortable in the water, start with a water aerobics class in shallow water. As your comfort level grows, you may eventually transition to a class in deep water. To ensure safety, never practice water aerobics alone. Also, as with any type of exercise, it is important to consult your physician before attempting a new workout routine.
Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.