Water aerobics includes a variety of different body movements and dance routines performed in water. It starts with very simple exercises and moves onto more advanced routines just like in normal aerobics. As water aerobics programs become more advanced, they incorporate more intricate dance and calisthenics movements. It is supervised by a fitness instructor and it may be done with or without music.
It is done in either waist deep or chest deep water depending on the type of exercise being performed. For some exercises such as jogging the whole body is submerged. Shallow water aerobics include exercises which are similar to dry land aerobics such as circling your arms, bending your knees, and swinging your legs. Deep water workouts are more strenuous as they put more strain on the cardiovascular system and also require more use of muscles. Also they require a lot of balance. In deep water aerobics flotation devices are required to keep the head above water during the exercises.
Water aerobics allows a person to get the same benefits as regular aerobic work outs, but it has its own advantages
- It allows a person to exercise every muscle and every joint in the body all at the same time.
- It is cooler as the water cools off the body the entire time that the routine is being performed.
- When in water only 10% of the body weight has to be supported if an individual is immersed till his neck and 50% has to be supported if he immersed till his waist level. It provides buoyancy which reduces the strain on muscles and joints.
- As water has more density than air it also provides more resistance. This provides a better workout as it increases muscle endurance.
- As the effect of gravity in water is greatly reduced it increases flexibility without pressurizing the joints. This in turn helps the joints to have a wider range of motions during exercise. Therefore it is very useful to aged patients.
- Disadvantages of water aerobics
- The main requirement for water aerobics is a pool which may not be always available. However people can use the local pool.
- It is true that water aerobics dose not stretch the joints much but we also dont lose as many calories as in weight bearing exercises.
- Also it is not always affordable by many individuals as the cost of water aerobic classes varies from place to place.
The ideal place for performing water aerobics is in indoor swimming pools as the temperature can be regulated especially during the winter season in cold countries where the temperatures drop below freezing point. It can also be performed in outdoor pools, lakes and ponds.
A typical water aerobic workout lasts 40 to 50 minutes, with the appropriate time for warm-up, cool-down and stretching routines.
- Steps involved while performing water aerobics
- First it is necessary to warm up in the pool for at least 10 minutes by jogging , doing kicks , strides and knee lifts.
- This is followed by a string of exercises that stretch the quadriceps, calf muscles, hip flexors and hamstrings. This has to be done for another 8-10 minutes.
- After that the individual can perform various types of jumps such as tuck jumps, frog jumps and scissors jumps.
- This is followed by some stretching exercises which help to cool down. This is also done for some 8-10 minutes.
- Why water aerobics can be done by almost anyone?
Water aerobics is suitable for most people as it is a non weight bearing exercise. It does not put as much strain on joints and muscles as land exercises do. Also old people, people suffering from arthritis and osteoporosis find water aerobics conducive. It helps to keep the body in shape by increasing flexibility, circulation, muscle tone and stamina.
Hence it can be practiced by pregnant women and individuals with weight problems and back problems. Doctors recommend a low-impact exercise regime for pregnant women and water aerobics suits the bill perfectly. Exercise such as water aerobics helps women to have an easier delivery, a quicker recovery and quickens the loss of the gained weight during pregnancy.