Contrary to popular belief, water exercise classes are for everyone, not just the elderly, those rehabilitating injury or for the physically challenged. Water exercise classes offer multiple benefits for all fitness levels. Here are some of the main benefits to water exercise classes:
Low impact: This may be the single most important benefit of aqua classes or utilizing the water for parts of your workout routine. Exercising in water makes you feel about 90 percent lighter according to the American Council on Exercise. When you jump or run in the water, your body does not experience the same impact that these moves cause on land. Many of the exercise movements have little to no impact at all on your joints. This makes water exercise an ideal activity for those with arthritis, back problems, foot or leg injuries, and knee conditions. Those that are pregnant or severely overweight benefit tremendously with this type of exercise.
Calorie Burning: Many can expect to burn between 400-500 calories per hour in a water exercise class, according to the Aquatic Exercise Association. The actual amount you burn will depend on your size, the intensity of your movements and water temperature and depth. In general, faster movements, incorporating the upper and lower body in deep water, elicit the greatest calorie burn.
Flexibility and Range of Motion: Water exercise, especially in warm water, allows many people the ability to exercise where they are limited on land. For those that are overweight, or have other physical challenges, water provides the ability to make movements that may be impossible on land. Many will experience much better flexibility and range of motion after only a few classes in water.
Increased strength and bone density: When you exercise in water you experience 12 times the resistance of air according to an article published in “American Fitness.” Simply kicking and cupping the water helps contribute to muscle development which translates into increased bone density and a higher metabolic rate. Many classes incorporate equipment like water paddles, noodles, single or double buoys, and kickboards to further increase resistance to increase strength gains.
Emotional Health Benefits: Many sufferers from fibromyalgia indicate that water exercise classes decrease the instances of anxiety associated with a regular workout routine. Some studies indicate that exercise therapy in warm water can decrease depression and improve mood as well. Water exercise classes can improve the health of mothers and their unborn children and has a positive effect on the mother’s mental health. Water exercise helps lift spirits, and provides healthy social interaction in a group setting.
Always check with a doctor before starting any exercise regimen. Some people experience allergic reactions to pool chemicals so it’s a good idea to check with the facility you will be choosing for the chemical content of the water. A salt water pool may be a better choice for you. Some may need to use earplugs or nose clips. Showering thoroughly after a workout with a chlorine-cleansing soap and applying moisturizer afterward helps avoid itchy skin. Check out our aquatic schedules online at www.columbiaathletic.com.