Water aerobics: a low-intensity starter workout
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Those who don’t have an active lifestyle—whether that be through health issues, age, or unhealthy living— may find fitness and exercise daunting. Even those who wish to partake in a more active lifestyle can easily be discouraged from going to gyms with fit people, or may simply not know where to start.
It’s an issue that I personally have struggled with. Throughout most of my life, I haven’t been an overly active person, but when complications with my birth control caused me to gain 80 pounds and 8 sizes in the course of 16 months, the appeal of an active lifestyle started to call to me. Still, the thought of going to the gym by myself was terrifying.
One of many lower intensity workouts I’ve tried is water aerobics. Water aerobics is a fantastic low intensity workout utilized by all types of people, be they elderly or young, fit or unfit. Water aerobics classes are usually provided for the cost of admission at many local recreation centres, and are provided throughout the day at different intensities.
You don’t have to have a background in swimming to partake in the exercise either. Most classes are done in levels of water that reach around your chest, although some more challenging classes take place in deep water (where buoyant belts are worn to keep the participant above water).
Water aerobics work by using water as a form of resistance to movement, which tones all areas of your body throughout the class as you complete cardiovascular exercises. Strength is built through the use of the resistance in water. Additional strength is built through the use of foam and plastic “weights,” which place additional resistance.
Flexibility increases through the use of water aerobics, as the water often allows your body to move and stretch to levels with more ease than exercise on dry land.
Not only do water aerobics build on several fundamental areas of physique, but they do so comfortably. Water aerobics do not drain energy like many exercise do, as the submergence in water keeps you feeling cool and refreshed.
Of course, it should not be the end-all of exercise. There is only so much intensity that can be built in water aerobics classes, and the effects of the exercise may become less noticeable after going to classes for some time. At this point, it would be best to graduate to a more intense land-based exercise.
Still, it is a fun starter exercise. Classes are often put to music and are upbeat, while some may employ the use of games. It’s a nice and relaxing exercise to start or finish your day on, and especially fun if you bring a friend.