Aqua, or water, aerobics offers a cardio workout that also challenges muscle strength and endurance. Performed in either shallow or deep water, water aerobics is a popular exercise choice for those suffering from arthritis or orthopedic problems, as the water provides buoyancy that reduces impact on the joints. Water aerobics trends range from saucy Latin dance-inspired workouts to classes designed for expectant mothers and senior citizens.
Aqua aerobics classes that incorporate Latin dances set to international music give practitioners an sculpting aerobic workout. Some underwater versions take cha-cha, merengue and reggaeton moves to the swimming pool as well. Instructors encourage students to clap and cheer during the class to promote a "party-like" workout atmosphere. In addition to cardio conditioning, these trendy aqua aerobics classes incorporate stretching and strengthening components.
Deep Water Aerobics
Performed in the deep end of a swimming pool, deep water aerobics delivers an impact-free cardio workout. Wearing a flotation belt allows you to keep your head above water without your feet touching the bottom of the pool. As you move your arms and legs against the resistance of the water, you burn calories while strengthening your muscles. While deep water aerobics can provide a great workout for anyone, athletes often utilize this non weight-bearing workout style to stay in shape while recovering from injuries.
Water aerobics classes designed just for seniors pay special attention to the physical fitness needs of the elderly. Along with promoting heart health through cardiovascular exercise, aqua aerobics helps seniors maintain muscle mass. According to Dr. Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, a kinesiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, aqua aerobics also help boost metabolism as it slows down age-related loss of muscle mass in seniors.
Prenatal aqua aerobics classes give expectant moms a chance to safely exercise their changing physiques while meeting other moms. Women in the second and third trimester of pregnancy may especially appreciate the buoyancy provided by the water in a prenatal aqua aerobics class. Water aerobics instructors experienced in prenatal fitness can help you modify exercises if needed to suit your growing belly.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images