Too often, people consider water aerobics a low-intensity workout program appropriate only for pregnant women or the elderly. However, water aerobics actually offers multiple benefits for any fitness level and all types of people. Water aerobics classes come in a variety of formats, including step, Zumba, kickboxing, tai chi and yoga. Choose your favorite type of glass, don your suit and hop on in!
A Low-Impact Workout
Exercising in water makes you feel about 90 percent lighter, reports the American Council on Exercise. When you jump or run in the water, your body does not experience the same impact that these moves cause on land.
This makes water aerobics an ideal activity for those with arthritis, back problems, foot or leg injuries, and knee conditions. Pregnant women and the obese also benefit from the reduced impact. You don't have to worry about falling and hurting yourself; however, you should still talk to a doctor before you start a water fitness routine.
Good for Beginners
If you find other group exercise classes intimidating because of complex choreography or windowed studios, the pool offers some discretion. Most moves are performed underwater, so only you know if you missed a step.
At the same time, going to a water aerobics class can be very motivating. You often work harder in a class setting to keep up with other participants, and there's a social aspect that working out alone doesn't offer.
Expect to burn nearly 300 calories during an hour-long water aerobic class, though 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.
To lose a pound, you need to create a 3,500-calorie deficit through exercise and diet. Regular water aerobics classes can go a long way in helping to create that deficit.
When exercising in water, you work against 12 times the resistance of air. Simply kicking and cupping the water helps contribute to muscle development, which translates into a higher metabolism and healthier body.
Many water aerobics classes incorporate equipment like water paddles, noodles, single or double buoys, and kick boards to further induce strength gains. Push-ups or triceps dips performed on the pool deck also help build strength.