Water aerobics has long been a popular exercise form with the senior population. But it is not just for seniors! People of all levels of fitness can get some pretty impressive benefits from water aerobics exercise.
Athletes, obese individuals, those with arthritis, seniors, beginner exercisers, basically everyone can gain some powerful results from incorporating water aerobics into their current routine. I’ve worked with many clients who gravitate toward water aerobics for exercise due to the lower impact on their joints.
In addition, water aerobics can provide cardiovascular benefits, increases in muscular endurance, balance and flexibility. Let’s discuss water aerobics and its many unbelievable benefits.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Low impact and injury prevention
By nature, water allows us to be buoyant. This decreases the feeling of bodyweight for the exerciser. Exercising in water allows someone with osteoarthritis or “bad knees” to still gain an impressive intensity in their workouts, without suffering pain due to the weight of the body, as they would find on land.
I’ve had clients unable to stand or walk for an extended period of time on land due to joint pain be able to complete an hour long water aerobics workout without issue. For the same reason, low impact water aerobics exercise is also great for someone who is overweight or new to exercise, so they can exercise without fear of injuring their joints.
Exercising in the water allows the exerciser to gain cardiovascular benefits. Moving continuously in the water – by doing water running, walking, or jumping movements – allows the heart rate to elevate and stay elevated, thus burning fat and calories.
Combined with the low impact benefits of water aerobics, someone who would normally have trouble completing cardio on land will be able to achieve their cardiovascular goals in the water. Water aerobics also provides a crosstraining method to prevent injury.
For the avid runner or cyclist, training once or twice per week in the water allows the exerciser to achieve the cardiorespiratory levels needed to sustain benefits, without overtraining and running the risk of overuse (shin splints, stress fractures, etc.).
Water aerobics can also build muscular endurance. Using foam dumbbells, pool noodles and the body, you can produce resistance under the water. By moving your arms and legs under the water, you are providing your body with a continuous resistance on both the eccentric (negative) and concentric (positive) muscle actions.
This is going to ramp up the caloric burn as well as provide your body with an overall toned look.
Exercising in the water can also provide balance benefits. Standing on one leg in the water while moving the other leg or arms is an excellent way to achieve these balance results. This is especially helpful for athletes in terms of injury prevention and seniors in terms of fall prevention.
Exercising in the water also helps with building flexibility. Moving in the water allows your body to stretch as it moves and the water can help to ease the body into new positions, thus increasing flexibility. Moving in full ranges of motion under the water also can produce flexibility benefits.
As you can see, water aerobics offers numerous benefits, whether you are new to exercise or are an avid athlete looking for a way to cross train to prevent injury. If you’ve ever been curious, I would strongly suggest you grab your swimsuit and get moving in the water!