Aqua fitness has never been more popular, whether it is in the form of aqua aerobics, water walking or even pole dancing and kick boxing int he water, yes these are really things. This popularity is due in no small part to the vast benefits that aqua fitness programs bring to their participants.
Almost everyone from top athletes to dancers to people with health issues, the elderly and pregnant women can reap the benefits of this growing form of exercise. Aqua fitness increases your cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscle strength and balance in a fun and social way. It also has therapeutic benefits for individuals who are recovering from illness or injury as the water supports and gently massages the body as it moves around the pool. Aqua therapy and fitness is especially good for people who are recovering from ankle, knee, hip and back surgery as cool water minimizes postoperative swelling. However, aqua fitness is not always appropriate, so it is absolutely essential that you ask the advice of your doctor before taking the plunge!
Another group who can really benefit from aqua fitness are those who are very overweight or obese, and unable to exercise effectively on land without injury. In water, which is chest deep 90% of your body, weight is buoyant, so you will only be supporting 10% of your total weight while you exercising. You really will be getting all the benefits of land-based exercise without the hot and sweaty feeling, meaning that you will be more likely to exercise for longer and get better results in terms of weight loss. Remember to always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regime to ensure that the form of exercise in question is appropriate for your body. There are plenty of options to choose from, so you are likely to find something that will work for you.
To get the best out of your aqua fitness regime make sure you visit the pool regularly, say 3-5 times per week and gradually increase the intensity of your exercise.
Five swimtastic tips for getting the most out of aqua fitness!
1) Breath…sounds obvious, but so many people don’t breath properly in the pool! 2) Sleep – get plenty of it, around 8 hours per night to make sure you’re in tip top condition while exercising 3) Drink – don’t forget to drink plenty of water before and after your session 4) No caffeine! Caffeine is a diuretic so don’t drink (black) tea or coffee for 2 hours before and after your workout 5) Look after your skin and hair by showering before and after your session to minimise the drying effects of pool chemicals
Above all remember to have fun! You are far more likely to stick to your new aqua fitness regime if you enjoy it and get to know the other people in your group. Aqua fitness is a very social form of exercise, so make the most of it and have a giggle!
Happy Swimming – Sarah Bohn