- Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 18:01
If your New Year’s resolution has been to start exercising after being inactive for many years, we have the perfect solution for you. Take the plunge and start your new exercise programme with gentle, water aerobics.
Why water aerobics?
Water aerobics is a great way to improve fitness, flexibility and muscle tone and strength. It is also a very gentle and safe method of exercise. Being submerged in water up to the waist while exercising means that your joints, in effect, carry only 50% of your body weight and even less the deeper you go! Because water offers this kind of support to the body, the chance of injury is greatly reduced. Water aerobics is fun for the whole family, as young and old can join in, whether they can swim or not.
What to expect in a water aerobics class
Most water aerobic classes are 40 to 50 minutes long, and include a warm-up and cool-down routine. Other movements will include stretches, dance steps and rhythmic body movements. All water aerobic classes require proper swimwear as prescribed by your gym.
Benefits of water aerobics
- It offers pregnant women, those who are overweight and people with medical problems such as arthritis, muscle and joint and back problems the opportunity to exercise. Stretching and strengthening with aquatic exercise actually helps relieve joint and muscle pain.
- The resistance the water provides helps you to build greater muscle tone and endurance.
- It lowers your exercise heart rate and helps you not to “over-heat” as quickly as you would when exercising on land.
- It enhances flexibility because a water environment allows for a greater range of motion.
- It is a great way to lose body fat, as you can expect to burn between 1800 and 3000 kilojoules during an hour-long water aerobics class.
- It helps improve mood and lowers stress levels.
- Water aerobics can be done throughout the year, summer and winter.
Remember to talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise programme, especially if you have medical problems.
Howard, N. 2010. Seven water exercise routines. Retrieved from: http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=7_water_exercise_routines
Lockhart, E. 2014. Nine gravity-defying benefits of Aqua Fit. Retrieved from: http://www.activebeat.com/fitness/9-gravity-defying-benefits-of-aqua-fit/
Top ten exercises to get fit in water. Retrieved from: http://www.womenfitness.net/fitinwater.htm
Revised by M van Os