Aqua Fitness: A Cool Exercise for Hot Summer Months
Nothing cools you off quite like a dip in the pool. Yet, while swimming is one of the best and most popular forms of exercise, there are many other options for a refreshing aqua fitness workout. Like resistance workouts, aqua aerobics, water walking and even the new Latin-inspired “aqua zumba.” Plus, since aqua fitness increases cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscle strength and balance in a fun and social way, it’s quickly becoming a favorite among all ages!
Almost everyone – from top athletes and dancers to people with health issues, the elderly and even pregnant women – can enjoy the benefits of aqua fitness. For starters, this form of exercise doesn’t require you to know how to swim. It’s typically performed in water that’s only up to your waist or chest. What’s more, aqua fitness:
- Offers a variety of therapeutic benefits
Because of the effects of buoyancy, aqua fitness can be ideal for individuals who are recovering from an illness or injury, or those who are obese or unable to exercise effectively on land. In fact, a person standing in chest-deep water is only taking on the burden of 10% of his or her body weight, causing less strain and stress on joints and muscles. Water also gently massages the body as it moves around the pool and tends to lower blood pressure rates.
- Reduces risk of injury
The buoyancy of water also slows down exercises. While this reduced speed still benefits the body, it makes it much more difficult to make a mistake that could lead to an injury. If you fall in the water during aqua exercise, for instance, you’re less likely to get hurt.
- Burns calories
Aqua fitness allows you to exercise every muscle and joint in your body at the same time. Plus, since water creates greater resistance – 44 times greater! – than the air moving around outside the pool, your body burns more calories both during and after a workout session.
- Cools your body down
Of course, aqua fitness also offers the cooling benefits of water. Without that hot and sweaty feeling, you may exercise longer and get better results. Water can be especially good for those recovering from ankle, knee, hip and back surgery as the cool temperature minimizes postoperative swelling.
To optimize your aqua fitness regime, try visiting the pool 3-5 times a week – gradually increasing the intensity of your workout – and be sure to use the right tools. International Olympians and novice swimmers alike request NZ Manufacturing StrechCordz® resistance products. Our new StrechCordz Pool Aqua Band – tested and approved by national instructors – can be used for upper and lower extremities both in water and on dryland. The StrechCordz Long Belt Slider improves acceleration, strengthens finishes and improves IM times. And, our StrechCordz Stationary Swim Trainer helps with proper hip rotation and stroke efficiency.
Whatever form of aqua fitness you try – always follow safety rules for the water, use the buddy system and never swim or perform aqua fitness alone. As with any exercise program, consult with your health care provider before you begin.