Water aerobic workouts are a form of fitness training that can be beneficial for people at any fitness level. The surrounding resistance of the water provides a challenging environment for performing exercises, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Fitness training with water aerobics can improve athletic performance, aid in rehabilitation and improve activities needed for daily living.
Cardiovascular Water Workout
During a water aerobics workout, hydrostatic pressure is pushing again the chest and body, according to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. This kind of pressure helps to strengthen your respiratory system, making it easier to breathe when you are on land. This is particularly helpful in managing the demands of the cardio portion of your workout, when you need more oxygen.
Water is a form of liquid resistance that surrounds your body during a water aerobics class. Movements performed at an average speed in water are approximately 12- to 15-times more resistant compared to the same movement performed on land, according to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Since all movements can be resisted in the water, muscular conditioning can be accomplished with a water aerobics class.
Water aerobics is an ideal type of fitness training for weight loss and weight management, especially for overweight and obese persons. Walking in water at 2 mph requires more work compared to walking at the same speed on a treadmill, meaning more calories are burned while in water. In a water aerobics class, a greater volume of work is performed with less stress to the body's bones and joints. A 30-minute water aerobics class could expend approximately 345 calories without the impact of land, according to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.
To maximize the amount of fitness training during a water aerobics class, various pieces of equipment can be used. Surface area equipment, such as webbed gloves, fins and non-buoyant dumbbells, provides resistance in all directions and can affect overload. Buoyancy equipment, such as buoyancy dumbbells, belts and noodles, enhances the buoyancy of the limbs or body. Gravity-based equipment, such as the aquatic step, enhances gravitational load on the lower body and decreases the buoyancy effect during the exercise. Water equipment uses resistance and gravity, whereas land weights use poundage, according to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.
- Fitness: Theory & Practice; Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
- ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription; American College of Sports Medicine
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