This i guest post from Kaitlin Gardner. She contacted me because she wanted to share her knowledge about aqua aerobics and this is something that you might want to try out this year! Thanks, Kaitlin for this!
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.
My friend Marjorie was complaining the other day about how her workout routines had gotten stale. She asked me about aqua aerobics, because she’s heard me rave about it so much. I told her about water workouts, and why I find them so enjoyable. I came up with lots of reasons to use the pool for getting fit.
The basics. Water workouts don’t have to be exotic and complicated – that’s one reason I find them so much fun. If I’m in the pool, doing an exercise that gets my heart rate elevated, giving me a cardiovascular benefit – that qualifies as aqua aerobics. Something as simple as treading water can provide a great workout option. I took Marjorie to the pool and we tried it together. It didn’t take long for her breathing to escalate, and she could feel the burn in her arms and legs. Here are some great resources I found with more information about pool workouts:
- Water Aerobics and Water Fitness Exercises
- How Many Calories Are Burned By Water Aerobics?
- Health Benefits of Water Based Exercise
The variety. Marjorie had gotten into a rut at the gym. She did a short spell on the treadmill, and sometimes added a few weight repetitions. I mentioned to her that one reason I loved water workouts was the variety. I can do a group class and get a well rounded workout that works arms and legs. If I’m stressed, I go to an aqua yoga or tai chi class. If I want vigorous, I will take an aqua kickboxing class. Recently I have gotten the courage to try an aqua Zumba class. Marjorie was a little hesitant about the sexy hip swinging moves, until I mentioned that most of her body is underwater. Now she wants to try Zumba.
The health bonus. There’s an advantage you get from being in the water that land exercise doesn’t offer – a lower heart rate. In the water, your heart has to work less. The heart rate will typically be around 13 percent lower – around 17 beats per second. This is thought to be due to the lowered impact of gravity, and the cooler water temperatures. I can work out just as hard in the water as I would in the gym, and put less stress on my heart. I like that advantage.
Easy on the body. I told Marjorie that the water is less stressful because of the buoyancy. My body will only have to support a fraction of its own weight being in the water, and that provides a lightness that makes exercise a lot easier on me. I usually feel the pounding from the treadmill or while running, but in the water, everything is easier. I used to hate doing lunges in the gym, but in the water, they are completely different. My foot lands with a nice gentle feel, and that means less stress on my knee joints.
The effect of resistance. Some people ask if a water workout can really provide a solid cardiovascular workout. I suggest they try a session of aqua jogging to see how it feels. One person actually tried it, and said that they were really surprised at how much effort it took to push themselves through the water. That was the element of resistance. Water is a dense medium, so running through it takes extra work. That’s why my favorite water workout is aqua jogging. I just go to the pool when the lap lanes are open, and begin moving up and down one with my best running posture. I get all the workout I need, in the pleasant atmosphere of the water.
I was not at all surprised to see Marjorie in the lap lane next to me when I went aqua jogging yesterday, and the smile on her face told me how much she enjoys aqua aerobics.