Water Aerobics 101

December 22, 2013

The New Year is here and it's time for your annual ritual of resolving to work out and finding yourself not motivated to. Whether it's because you find the usual gym routine boring or you don't like to run or yoga is too quiet, we seem to find an excuse and end up sitting on the couch more than getting into the gym. Need a way to beat your fitness failings? Start this New Year by pushing yourself in a pool. Rain or shine, winter or summer, finding an indoor or outdoor pool isn't difficult and can prove to be a full body workout, whether you're looking to tone up or to taper down the number on the scale. Here's everything you need to know about water fitness.

What is Water Aerobics?

Water aerobics is literally the act of doing aerobic exercises in chest- to neck-deep water. Performing these usually basic moves in water makes the exercises more intense than if you were performing them out of the water, especially when you add extra resistance. Because of that, water aerobics has many cardiovascular benefits as well as strength training benefits with a much lower impact on your body. The low impact workouts make water aerobics perfect for people all ages and fitness levels.

What are the Benefits of Water Aerobics?

Because being in water creates a natural buoyancy, your body can be unweighted by up to 90%, making your water workouts much easier on your body. The little impact of this kind of workout makes it easier for you to get your heart rate going and shed the pounds in a way that puts less stress on your joints and muscles. The natural resistance created by exercising in the water also helps increase muscle strength, giving those fitness fanatics a different way to get toned. Lastly, water aerobics builds cardiovascular endurance. Your body's blood moves through the body at a faster rate when you’re in cooler water in an attempt to warm the body up naturally. When coupled with exercising, your cardiovascular performance is working extra hard, which helps your body build up cardiovascular performance overtime, as well.

What Do I Need to Get Started?

Because you'll be moving around in the water, you'll want to make sure you choose a one-piece fitness suit that's comfortable, flatter, and covers the areas you want keep hidden. You don't want to worry about your suit moving while you are! Another item to consider wearing are any kind of water shoes as the constant contact of your feet to the floor can cause irritation and blisters. Lastly, if you want to intensify any of your water workouts, add in a weight belt or water barbells or kickboards to increase your weight and resistance.

Exercise Examples

The Knee Tuck
Target: Abs and GlutesStep 1:
        Stand two feet away from the side of the pool with your feet hip width apart and your hands resting on the wall.

Step 2:
        Draw your left knee into your chest, rounding your back and contracting your abs.

Step 3
        : Extend your left leg behind you, squeezing your glutes. Continue for 30 seconds.

Step 4:
        Switch legs and repeat for one minute to complete one set.
    The Power Pop-Up
    Target: Fat BurnerStep 1:
          Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

    Step 2:
          Lower yourself into a squat, keeping your knees behind your toes.

    Step 3:
          Jump up, raising your arms over your heard and lifting your feet off the pool floor.

    Step 4:
          Land softly in a squatting position with your knees bent.
    Step 5:
          Continue for one minute to complete one set.

    The Cross Country
    Target: Arms and LegsStep 1:
          Start with your feet on the bottom of the pool with the water at shoulder height.

    Step 2:
          Alternate your arms and legs as if you're cross country skiing (right arm out with left leg back; left arm out with right leg back).
    Step 3:
          Reach and extend your arms far behind your body and in front of your body for maximum workout.

    Step 4:
          Continue for one minute to complete one set.

    Water aerobics is a great way to tone up and get in shape this year and with the ease and reduced impact, people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities can enjoy the benefits of water fitness. Get into your personal pool or find local water aerobics classes in your community to start this New Year off with a better way to be fit.

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