Water aerobics is a great way to get the same benefits as any aerobic workout, without the risk of getting over heated in the Bermuda summer heat and it really is a lot of fun.
Ideally, the exercises are done in water that is about “heart height”, and you do not have to be able to swim to do it as you can stay standing the whole time.
Because you are in water about four feet deep, there is no pressure to “keep up”, nobody but the instructor can see what you are doing and everyone is able to work at their own pace, a pace that is suitable for their individual needs and goals.
While no single exercise is perfect for everyone, water aerobics comes close by conforming to individual needs, goals, restrictions, and abilities.
Because it is done in water, you may perspire, but you will remain cooler because the water cools you off as you exert energy. This is one reason that water aerobics is popular in climates where the weather is quite warm.
Water aerobics provides a low-impact way to strengthen your back and core muscles.
Strengthening these muscles is particularly important if you suffer from chronic lower back pain or other spinal conditions.
Though water aerobics are safe for most people, check with your doctor before starting a program if you have a chronic medical condition or if you have recently suffered an injury or undergone surgery on your spine or are pregnant.
Exercising in the water alleviates pressure on your spine and joints, allowing you to move more freely and with less pain than traditional exercises.
Toning your back muscles with exercises in a water aerobics programme helps improve your posture and reduces the risk of injury by strengthening the muscles that support your spine and hips.
Movement in the water provides a great deal of resistance in all directions for your muscles to work against.
This multi-directional resistance provides an excellent environment for toning your muscles and firming up your whole body.
It allows a person to exercise every muscle and every joint in the body all at the same time.
You cannot get that in traditional land based exercise.
Water aerobics exercises have proven to be extremely beneficial in terms of cardiovascular conditioning. In water exercise classes the heart rate is maintained at a lower rate due to the cooling effect of the water, when compared to cycling or running on land.
This translates into being able to work very hard without your heart trying to jump out of your chest, making it possible to work at a higher intensity for longer periods than you could on land and as a result, strengthening your heart and lungs as well as burning more calories during your work out.
Speaking of calories, expect to burn between 400 and 500 calories per hour in a water aerobics class, according to the Aquatic Exercise Association.
The actual amount you burn will depend on your size, the intensity of your movements, as well as water temperature and depth.
In general, faster movements incorporating the upper and lower body in deep water elicit the greatest calorie burn.
The reduced effect of gravitational force in water leads to improved flexibility in the body.
The joints can be easily moved through a wider range of motion, which makes water aerobics all the more beneficial as we age. Since there is no joint pain caused, you can perform the exercise without any kind of anxiety. People with arthritis find that water aerobics helps with their range of motion and can reduce pain in their joints.
Another benefit of water aerobics is that everyone can do it, no matter your age. The reason for this is because the water causes your body to be buoyant, thus causing less stress on your joints and muscles. Water aerobics is a non-weight bearing exercise where water, instead of your lower extremities, supports your weight. The water also gives your whole body resistance to strengthen your muscles every time you move in the water. Water is about 13 times denser than air creating constant resistance for your muscles, making them stronger and more toned.
But, more important for those of you who are overweight or who have not exercised for a while, this is an easy way to get back and stay in an exercise program. You'll find kindred spirits in any class from beginner to supercharged aerobic wonders. We are all equal in the water.
Fit ‘N’ Firm will be starting their summer programme of Water Aerobics on June 4 at the Warwick Academy Swimming Pool.
For more information go to www.wateraerobicsbermuda.com or call 337-1646.