One of my friends asked me the other day how she could get started with aqua aerobics. She knows it’s a regular part of my exercise routine, and thought I could show her how to go about it. I gave her some insights on what I have learned about water workouts.
It’s not that complicated. The key word is aerobic – if you’re in the water and moving, it will be giving your body an aerobic exercise function. Whether you just walk around in the water or put your arms on the side of the pool and raise your legs to do crunches, you’ll be getting aerobic exercise. There are a lot of ways to learn how to do water exercises – go to a group class to see what the instructor does, or just read about aqua aerobics online to get an idea of how to work out in the water. Here are some great resources with more information about water exercise:
Lots of variety. One of the things that is great about water aerobics is that it’s not just doing gym exercises in the water any more. There are a number of different options, and you can decide which one to do a particular day, depending on your mood. If you really want a vigorous workout to release some stress, go for the kick boxing class, or go to the Zumba dance class in the water, with all those wonderful sexy hip swinging moves that you might hesitate to try on land. If you really want to relax or unwind, go to the aqua yoga class, or do the slow and rhythmic moves of a tai chi class in the water. There are also weight workouts specifically designed for the water.
Great cardio options. A favorite cardio choice, particularly for runners, is aqua jogging. This workout is suggested as a great cross training option. It’s pretty simple. Just go to the gym when the lap lanes are open, and begin pushing up and down a lane, using your best running motion. In the water, the element of resistance provides a super addition to what you are doing – you have to force your body to push through the water. It doesn’t take long to start breathing like you are on the running trail.
At the beginning. The basic recommendation to start with an exercise program is 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days a week. If you are doing the less vigorous water workouts, you can do more – for instance with aqua tai chi, it is more mellow and not as much cardio. But if you try a kick boxing class in the water, it might be good to only stay for part of the class at first. You want to attain a reasonable goal, and let the endurance build over time. Don’t overdo it with exercise initially – you might discourage yourself and not continue.
The fun of the water. Our bodies are made up mostly of water, which might explain why the water feels so good – it just feels natural being in the water. Plus, the buoyancy of the water provides a wonderful light feeling. In the water, your body only has to support a fraction of its own weight, which provides a noticeable lightness. It makes exercises in the water very gentle, and easy on the joints and muscles.
I took my friend to an aqua aerobics class to let her see how it all works. After a few minutes I looked over at her, and she had a big smile on her face. I knew she had become a fan of aqua aerobics, just like I am.
Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.