Water aerobics is simply aerobic moves performed under either deep or shallow water in a swimming pool. The various aerobic moves include kicks, knee lifts, breathing exercises, dive into the water and many other moves done in an aqua medium. Water aerobics is considered to be very beneficial for the cardiovascular system, the muscular system, joints and the mind. It is also widely recommended for pregnant women to strengthen their muscles for the impending labors of childbirth. Water aerobics classes are offered in a plethora of categories such as yoga, kickboxing, zumba, step, tai chi and many others.
The various benefits of water aerobics have been described below. Read on to know more.
Easy on the joints
The impact on the joints of the body during water aerobics is significantly lower than on the land. This is because the buoyancy of the water makes the body much lighter and decreases the pressure on the joints. Thus, regardless of whether the person is running or doing some exhaustive exercise, the impact on the joints is minimal. There is also no risk of falling down and getting injured in water. Consequently, the above factors make water aerobics an ideal choice of workout for people with arthritis, knee problems, leg injury, back problems, etc. Reduced impact also makes water aerobics highly suitable for obese people and pregnant women.
Enhanced muscle strength
The resistance offered by the water in a swimming pool to body movements can be as high as 42 times more than the resistance offered by air. The greater resistance means that the person needs to exert more force during the aerobic workouts which builds up the strength of muscles and joints significantly. A study conducted in the year 2007 found that people who had participated in regular aerobic classes for 12 weeks had an appreciable gain in strength and agility. Water aerobics classes widely use kickboards, water paddles, buoys and other equipment to help in gaining more muscle strength.
High rate of calorie burning
Water aerobics makes the body burn about 400-500 calories in each class. The exact amount of calories burnt depends upon various factors such as the water depth, temperature, size of the person and the intensity of the exercises. Fast body movements involving both the upper and lower portion of the body in deep water help in burning maximum calories. Water medium also enables the person to exercise for a much longer period of time as compared to land.
Beneficial for pregnant women
Water aerobics increases the strength of the muscular system in pregnant women especially the muscles of the pelvis which becomes more flexible. Flexible pelvis prevents any risk of injury to the child during birth. Water aerobics also prevents back and joint pain caused due to the weight of the belly.Water aerobics also prevents constipation and other issues associated with the gastrointestinal tract which is common in pregnant women. This is because the exercises promote faster movement of food in the GIT and prevents constipation and other problems. Breath holding exercises under water also known as water immersion apnea prepares the foetus to survive without oxygen in case of hypoxia during childbirth.
Controls blood pressure
Water aerobics is very beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure. The water pressure causes the blood to flow more freely in the system which improves circulation. As a result, the blood pressure is reduced. Decreased blood pressure also reduces the stress on the cardiac system which reduces the heart rate. Water aerobics also improves the level of High Density Lipoprotein which is also called good cholesterol.
Water aerobics involves a range of movements against high water resistance. These movements gradually increase the flexibility of the joints. For example, a study conducted in the year 2013 on a group of adults undergoing water aerobics classes found an improved flexibility in the movements of the participants.
Provides relief from stress
Water aerobics has a soothing effect on the mental health of the person and helps in combating stress and anxiety. This is particularly true for women. A study conducted in Poland in 2007 concluded that water aerobics decreased anxiety and stress appreciably in women.
Aerobic exercises on land particularly during the hot summer months result in a lot of perspiration. Water has a cooling effect on the body and prevents sweating during strenuous exercises. The person remains cool and refreshed throughout the session. This is also the reason why water aerobics is recommended for people who sweat a lot on land during workouts.