You know that you need to exercise. It makes you feel better. But life gets in the way. The cell phone rings and another family crises need you to solve it. As the stress level rises your body screams out for something physical. You are tired of all the duties and want something fun. The physical fitness world has heard your cry and created a program called water aerobics or better known as aqua fitness. Before you begin to protest because of that word “aerobics” that has shown you panting people jumping all around, breathing in ways you never dreamed of, know that aerobics in water comes as a gentle caressing of the body and uses resistance in the most creative ways imaginable.
Is Aqua Fitness For You?
Participants way of all ages have described water aerobics as an enjoyable form of exercise. It uses natural resistance, and the buoyancy of water to give a low impact workout. No matter what you weigh when you immerse in water up to your neck your body weight becomes ten percent of your present weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, then your weight while immersed in water will be the equivalent of 15 pounds. Your fitness level, size, and age do not matter. If you are mobile, you can participate in aqua fitness. Water exercise improves muscular endurance, strength and overall body fitness. Even for people with limited mobility water exercise offers many advantages.
Water Exercise Pluses
Unlike many other exercises water workouts remain nearly injury free. The body does not become pounded during the activities. Water cushions all movements done preventing most straining injuries occurring. If a person is recovering from a muscular injury, water exercise helps accelerate the healing for returning to full functioning. Even world class athletes, when injured, use water training to return to their professional athletic self.
Why Water Exercise?
Trainers, coaches, doctors and therapists often recommend aqua fitness for senior citizens, pregnant women, handicapped people, injured people and even arthritis patients. If it works for this segment of the population, it will work for you and your life. Here are some things to know to get you started on water exercise.
1. Low Cost – Many neighborhood pools, city pools and community colleges have water aerobic classes available at reasonable fees for all age groups.
2. What to Wear – Buy a sturdy swimsuit that will not creep around your posterior. You will be moving about the water. Classes are two to three times a week.
3. Shoes – Bottom of pools have rough finishes on their bottom so check with your class and get a good pair of swimming shoes or tennis shoes. The shoes increase the resistance when exercising, so it helps.
4. Fitness – Water workouts offer moderate fitness. Not to easy but not to hard either.
5. Feeling Grand – Aqua fitness is one of the few exercises that does not generally exhaust a person. They often leave feeling more energetic than what they came in. Water is a gentle medium that gives superb muscle tone.
6. Cross Training – Water exercise has the grand benefit of developing fitness for other exercises such as cycling or running. Moving slowly in water develops strong musculature with a fair amount of flexibility allowing other choices to become made once fitness levels come up.
Outlining a Fitness Program
If exercise is not enjoyable, then you will not do it. Pick a water workout program fun for you. You are aiming for a new lifestyle not just adding another duty to your day. It should be something you look forward not something you force yourself to do. A solid program will have three elements in it.
1. Set some specific goal for yourself no matter how small.
2. Make a plan for achieving it.
3. Find a way to carry out your plan whether a friend helps you or you self discipline.
Thoughts on Aqua Fitness for Health and Weight Loss
Focusing on only losing weight can become a dreary never ending task without much reward. Focusing on becoming more physically fit results in a healthy lifestyle. In the bigger picture for longevity and quality life, it is being healthy that counts. If you happen to lose weight in the process, then that is icing on the cake so to speak.
Before beginning your Aqua fitness program remember to talk to your healthcare provider about your fitness and weight loss goals. This is especially important if you have an existing health condition, suffer from severe arthritis or are currently using prescription medication which might affect your ability to safely participate in aqua fitness. Once you begin doing water exercises, make sure that a lifeguard is on duty. If you are doing aqua fitness in your personal pool make sure a family member or friend is present at all times for safety reasons.