Add water aerobic exercise to your fitness routine
Want to get fit but too out of shape to start moving? Then water aerobic exercise is the answer for you.
Trying to exercise when you are overweight is a Catch-22…you know you need to get physically active for your health’s sake but you just can’t physically do it. You’ve got to exercise to lose weight but you’ve got to lose weight in order to exercise without risking injury. For those who have access to a pool, water aerobic exercise can be a fun and effective alternative to more rigorous, high-impact forms of exercise.
It’s also great for people who don’t have a lot of time to exercise since you can get the same cardio benefit in half the time of regular “land” exercise.
Benefits of water aerobic exercise
It’s low impact
There’s less strain on joints and back
It can increase or maintain bone density
It works muscles that aren’t used that often on land
It forces your abdominals to work
It improves blood circulation
It decreases water retention
There’s minimal muscle pain the day after a workout
It improves your sleep
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What you need for a water aerobic workout
Your swimsuit is of paramount importance. You need to buy one that is comfortable and won’t “ride up” in the back or slip off your shoulders. Look for a “racerback” style. Shoes are optional; usually needed if you are exercising on a slippery surface and will improve your stability and protect your feet.
Your pool environment is very important. The ideal temperature for water aerobic exercise ranges from 82-86 degrees. The pool depth should be between waist and chest deep but a flotation device can be used to hold you up if you decide to exercise in the deep end and exercise your whole body in a weightless environment.
Most people like to work out to music and water aerobic exercisers are no different. If you are exercising in waist or chest deep water, choose music at a tempo of 120-150 beats per minute (bpm). If you are exercising in deeper water, it should be slower since you it will take longer for you to do the movements.
Other water aerobic equipment
There are three types of water aerobic equipment. Bouyancy equipment is used for resistance against water buoyancy. It’s a great form of strength-training. The “noodle” is used for light resistance and is great for beginners. Handbars are the next level; they are similar in appearance to hand weights and are available in different densities. Swim bars are similar to a regular weight bar you see in a gym. The closed chain disk is a cylinder with handles on the top that you can kneel on under water that improves balance and core strength.
Flotation equipment is used to keep you floating in a suspended state while you are doing other exercises. The flotation belt is used exclusively for this purpose and you should find one that is suited to your body shape.
Drag Equipment is the last type of equipment and includes webbed fins, aquafins and elastic bands. This type of equipment is used to increase the surface area of the body part moving in the water so it increases the resistance of the movement.