Water aerobics and exercises are growing in popularity among professionals and fitness buffs. Should you dip your toes in the water as well?
Here’s why you should take the plunge with water aerobics.
Why You Should Dive Into Water Aerobics
1. Is Accessible and Affordable
Both the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that adults aged between 18 to 65 years engage in moderate intensity exercise for 30 minutes five times a week. And water aerobics happens to be a great example.
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However despite all the reasons to workout, there’s not enough motivation to actually do it.
There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on your fitness journey. While the most important step of every journey is the first, it’s also crucial that you get to the second, third, and so on.
Fitness isn’t an overnight process, so the key to a successful training program is a sustainable one.
There are many health clubs and fitness centers in your local town centers that have pool amenities. You don’t need to reach for the most expensive membership plan since you’ll only need the pool. And you won’t even need to think about the equipment – besides your trunks, goggles, and yourself, there is none other.
If you already have a pool at home, then this is the perfect exercise for you. With no other additional cost and convenience ticked off, there’s no other excuse for you not to workout.
Removing barriers will help motivate you to get up and go workout. And if it’s a sport you can do with your family and friends in the backyard, then it will hardly feel like work at all.
2. May Be Safe Low-Impact Workout
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Water provides plenty of resistance, maybe more than you would get from some land-based exercises.
The extra resistance, however, doesn’t come with additional risk. You may exert more stress on your muscles, but not your joints.
Water buoyancy may reduce stress on your joints and gently cushion your strokes and movements.
With less stress and impact on your joints, this opens doors to all types of people that want to workout. Whether you’re starting out with your fitness goals, nursing an injury, pregnant, or are older, you could take up water aerobics as a safe form of exercise.
You won’t have to worry about accidental slips or falls inside the water either.
3. Water Aerobics May Increase Your Heart Rate More Than Walking
Water aerobics not only puts your muscles to work, but could also be a great workout for your lungs and your heart – the strongest muscle you have.
Swimming may be beneficial for cardiovascular endurance, blood lipid, and strength.
A study showed that those that walked on water had a higher heart rate than those that walked on land. This, however, was a small study. But this shows plenty of promise for water exercises.
If your land-based workouts are feeling rather light, look into water aerobics.
4. May Engage All Muscle Groups
Because swimming is a total body workout, you’ll be activating all muscles and putting them to work. Swimming is an excellent workout if you want to hit cardio, resistance, strength, and endurance goals while employing the majority of your muscle groups. This may be one of your most productive workouts yet.
With different types of swimming strokes, you’ll be working with different muscle groups. Employing a variety of them could help you hit a majority of your muscle groups.
The different swimming strokes include:
Water aerobics also isn’t limited to swimming. You can participate in water walking or water polo to keep your workout dynamic and interesting.
5. May Blast Calories and Aid in Weight Loss
Weight loss boils down to a basic equation:
Calorie expenditure > Calorie intake
Calorie expenditure is how many calories you spend whether you perform chores or exercise. On the other hand, calorie intake is how many calories you consume.
So dieting and exercise must work hand in hand for successful weight loss. Especially in older adults that experience age-related muscle and bone density loss, exercise is crucial.
Harvard Health lists the potential amount of calories you can burn within 30 minutes for different weight classes and activities.
Within 30 minutes of activity, a 125-pound person can burn:
- 120 calories, water aerobics
- 90 calories, water volleyball
- 180 calories, swimming
- 240 calories, swimming backstroke
- 300 calories, swimming breaststrokes, swimming laps with vigorous intensity, swimming treading with vigorous intensity
- 330 calories, swimming butterfly, swimming crawl
While within 30 minutes of activity, a 155-pound person can burn:
- 149 calories, water aerobics
- 112 calories, water volleyball
- 223 calories, swimming
- 298 calories, swimming backstroke
- 372 calories, swimming breaststrokes, swimming laps with vigorous intensity, swimming treading with vigorous intensity
- 409 calories, swimming butterfly, swimming crawl
While within 30 minutes of activity, a 185-pound person can burn:
- 178 calories, water aerobics
- 133 calories, water volleyball
- 266 calories, swimming
- 355 calories, swimming backstroke
- 444 calories, swimming breaststrokes, swimming laps with vigorous intensity, swimming treading with vigorous intensity
- 488 calories, swimming butterfly, swimming crawl
6. May Improve Body Composition in Older Adults
Loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) is common among older adults. But swimming may help reverse this and even improve your body composition.
A small, 12-week study found that adults and older adults that performed water aerobics for 45 minutes twice weekly had lower systolic blood pressure, improvements in upper body explosive strength, and lower fat mass.
Physical activity like swimming may also help reduce the likelihood of sarcopenia in later life.
The American Heart Association and the ACSM also continuously promote the importance of moderate-intensity exercise and muscle-strengthening activities, of which swimming is a great mode.
7. May Help Improve Sleep Quality
Aerobic exercise may help you put your body to work and then to fruitful rest afterward.
Sleep hygiene recommends that you engage in physical activity during the day. By bedtime, you would be able to fall asleep more easily.
A small study found that sedentary older adults with insomnia that participated in aerobic physical activity on top of sleep hygiene had better sleep than those that just complied with sleep hygiene without physical activity. The physical activity group had improved in:
- sleep latency (how quickly you fall asleep)
- sleep duration
- daytime dysfunction
- sleep efficiency
- reduced depressive symptoms
- reduced daytime sleepiness
8. May Lower Mortality Rates
Swimming may help you live well and longer.
A study found that swimmers have lower mortality rates than sedentary men and runners alike.
The results show that swimmers have:
- 53% lower all-cause mortality rates than sedentary men
- 50% lower all-cause mortality rates than walkers
- 49% lower all-cause mortality rates than runners
The study was also adjusted for the following factors:
- BMI (body mass index)
- alcohol consumption
- family history of cardiovascular disease
9. Water Aerobics May Ease Back Pain in Pregnant Women
Not only may water aerobics keep you healthy, but it may also even ease lower back pain experienced by pregnant women.
In a study of 390 pregnant women, researchers found that water aerobics decreased lower back pain of pregnant women more than land-based programs. As a consequence, occurrences of sick leaves due to pregnancy also reduced.
10. Water Aerobics May Help Alleviate Symptoms in Fibromyalgia Patients
The conditions of fibromyalgia patients are not visible to the naked eye, so those around them may not sympathize how they feel. The physical stress combines with psychological stress in these patients.
A study found that water aerobics may ease pain and had improved the depression scores of fibromyalgia patients.
This shows that water aerobics may have a two-fold approach to treating fibromyalgia patients, targeting psychological and physical well-being.
11. May Improve Quality of Life and Physical Performance in Pulmonary Patients
A study found that water-based pulmonary rehabilitation is just as effective as their land-based counterparts.
Patients that did water-based rehab showed improvements in strength, distance walked, and their own self-reported well-being.
If you’re just starting out with swimming, investment in a health club with swimming instructors. Not only will they help guarantee you get the most out of your workout, they’ll also keep your sessions safe 100% of the time.
A great way to motivate yourself to dive into a new sport or a novel fitness routine is to enjoy it. Enjoying an activity can shave off half of the effort and bolster your willpower. Whatever sport or activity gets you out of bed is worth the investment. Especially if you typically live a sedentary lifestyle.
Exercise is especially important for older adults. It helps maintain or build muscle mass, reversing muscle loss typical with age. Even those with injuries or conditions have a safe sport to indulge in thanks to water buoyancy.
It’s a highly productive, low-impact workout that’s safe for everyone. With physical and mental health benefits, we’re all signing up.
Are you gearing up to dive in? Setting up your local health center on speed dial? Let us know if you’re open to dipping your toes into water aerobics. Share your fitness journey with us in the comments section below!
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