Water aerobics was first publicly practiced during the 1950s. Compared to other forms of aerobic exercise, this is fairly new. It was also called aqua aerobics and hydrostatics. You might have heard of water aerobics as a form of exercise that is recommended for older people. But don’t be so quick to discount this physical activity to the elderly, it’s an excellent workout for younger people too.
So, what is water aerobics exactly? It’s a form of cardio that is done in the water, usually in a swimming pool. Water aerobics is not swimming. In fact, it can even be done by people who don’t know how to swim.
Aerobic exercises are activities that are designed to strengthen your lungs and your heart. This can be anything from walking and running to specific moves such as squats. With water aerobics, you do all of these in a pool, preferably with your body submerged up to your chest or even your shoulders. As long as you can stand straight, touch the floor with your feet down (and not on tiptoes), and be able to breathe, you are good.
Now, usually water aerobics, just like regular aerobics, is led by a teacher or mentor. For groups or classes, the teacher will be on land so everyone can see the movements they make. But if you are in a one-on-one class, then it’s possible your mentor is right beside you in the pool.
What to Wear
Now, you might be wondering, what is the appropriate water aerobics outfit? Should it be for aerobics or should it be for swimming? It’s important that your gear is designed for swimming because if you wear cotton, it will get heavy in the water and weigh you down. You should also make sure the clothes you wear are designed for mobility.
But what about shoes? Yes, it’s pretty uncommon to wear shoes in a pool. But, there is actually footwear that is made specifically for water aerobics. The best water aerobic shoes should fit your feet perfectly. You don’t want to be in the middle of a water aerobic session and find that one of your shoes is floating about. Or worse, your feet start to sting from being pinched by ill-fitting shoes.
Good water aerobic shoes should have good ventilation. You might think what’s the purpose of that since you are just going to wear it in the water. But like other footwear, water aerobic shoes also need to dry. For your comfort, make sure the shoes you get have foam padding and rubber soles.
Advantages of Water Aerobics
Now, you might be wondering, what is water aerobics exactly good for? It’s more than just a cross between swimming and regular aerobics. In fact, it has very flexible perks and can be changed according to your needs. It’s something safe yet can be very challenging and more.
Due to the hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy of the water, circulation in the body is significantly better. This promotes quicker healing in the body.
Better Joint Movement
This is one of the major reasons why water aerobics is popular among older people and is also a known therapy for those who have injuries. Joints under the water are able to have greater mobility without the pain one might feel if on dry land. This is because you only carry about half of your body weight when in water.
Another reason why water aerobics is great for seniors is it prevents any falling incidents. Even if you are still young, this is still a perk for you. Imagine standing on just one leg and not being able to balance on dry land. You’ll get a better hold of your body in the water. Never get the fear of feeling like a klutz when you do your aerobic exercises when you are in the water.
Some younger people look down on water aerobics because they assume it’s easy and doesn’t actually offer that much calorie-burning for the body. But actually, being in the water offers greater resistance. So your body and your muscles can work twice or thrice as hard. It just all depends on the complexity of the exercise you are doing, the number of reps, and of course, the effort that you put in.
Before You Go
Now that you know what is water aerobics, you might be itching to try it out already. But before you go and book a class, it’s still important to go check with your doctor or physician if this activity is suitable for you. If you are in good health and willing to give it a try, make sure that you understand swimming and safety guidelines too.
Remember, water aerobics is done in the water and it’s best to join a class first or have a mentor with you before trying it out solo. Just like other exercises, whether in the water or on dry land, safety first.