Tired of sweating it out in the gym in this sweltering heat? Well, I understand. Summer has been harsh, but you can’t use that as an excuse to slow down on your fitness routine. Just tweak it a little. Opt for Aqua Zumba, Aqua Aerobics, Aqua Pilates, Aqua Yoga and other such water workouts to stay cool. The best part is that you don’t even need to know swimming for any of them.
Just make a splash in the pool and get fit with your aqua fitness instructor. You can add some lively music while exercising in water and make turn it into an absolute party too. It’s really refreshing, but that’s not all. Aqua workouts have multiple benefits too, and can appeal to beginners as well as gym junkies looking for high intensity workouts.
Water’s potential as a healer is also recognized by naturopathy and physiotherapy, which often promotes aquatic therapy or water therapy. It is basically exercising in water for fitness and physical rehabilitation. That’s a very toned down explanation of the overall benefits it offers. Let’s check out the other benefits that you can get through water exercises.
Benefits Of Water Workouts
- It goes easy on your joints
Water aerobics and other such aqua exercises do not exert much pressure on your joints. This is because water is buoyant. In layman terms, it is the force of water that pushes your body upwards. It works against gravity, so it offers support to your body. This means that your joints experience lesser stress.
On land, running is one of the most high impact exercises. Every time your foot touches the ground, your legs and spine experience a shock wave, which is almost five times, your bodies weight. Water can reduce this impact by almost 85%.
If you’re standing in water, you’re going to carry only 50% of your whole body weight. The rest is lifted by buoyant force. While exercising in water, you’re at chest depth, so you’ll only be carrying around 25% of your body weight. This means your joints will experience less stress and there is more scope for flexibility too.
- It helps you build muscle mass
Along with buoyancy, water also creates resistance from all sides. Imagine your body is being pulled by weights from all directions. That’s exactly how your body feels like when it is in water. Water is much denser than air, so it is really difficult to move through water. This resistance from water helps you develop lean muscle mass and tone your muscles.
For a more intense workout, you can also incorporate the use of water equipment for weight lifting. Water dumbbells, kettle balls and water noodles are some of the specialized equipment’s that assist you with weight training in water. While choosing weights, you need to consider how weights work in water.
Water dumbbells are actually mostly made out of Styrofoam, and feel extremely light when dry. But when they absorb water, they can get really heavy. It is the surface area of this weight that decides how difficult it will be for you to lift weights. The ones with larger surface areas are more difficult as more water will need to be displaced when you’re trying to lift them.
For the best results, you should have a good mix of aqua fitness classes, strength training and flexibility exercises on your fitness schedule.
- It can help you burn calories
When you are working out in water, your muscles are forced to work harder because of the resistance from water. So, it helps you burn some calories too.
When you’re looking at the calories burned for any physical activity, you need to consider factors like genetics, body weight, intensity of workout and others. On an average, a person who weighs 70 kilograms will burn 300 calories by doing water aerobics. That’s almost as much as the number of calories you’d burn by an hour of weightlifting.
You can also include bicep curls, chest presses and floating crunches if you want to burn more calories. If you combine them with water aerobics, you can easily burn more than 500 calories per hour.
- Helps release anxiety and stress
There is a reason why beaches and lakes are really popular recreational hubs. Water, in general, has a calming presence that can make you feel relaxed. Aqua exercises also have the same calming effect on your body and help keep your mood swings in check. There have been numerous studies done on this subject as well.
A study done in 2007 in Poland showed that aquatic exercises helped lessen anxiety and stress in women. Another study published in Journal of Perinatal Education also showed similar effects on pregnant women.
Apart from these four benefits listed above, aquatic exercises can also help you lower your blood pressure, build endurance and have a positive impact on your overall cardiovascular health.
How Often Should You Do Water Exercises?
That depends on the intensity of the workout that you are opting for. I would recommend at least thirty minutes of water aerobics for at least 2-3 days in a week if your end goal were weight loss. But water aerobics alone isn’t sufficient for overall fitness. Make sure to combine it with water weight lifting exercises and other strength building exercises. Also, just like with other workouts, stick to a healthy diet plan.
Who Should Consider Doing Water Exercises?
If you ask me, anyone and everyone who loves water should give it a shot. But water exercises are especially helpful in aiding you with several health issues. The following lot of people should specially consider water exercises:
- Arthritis Patients
- Pregnant women
- Patients with problems in the spinal cord
- High Blood Pressure patients
- Senior Citizens
Aqua workouts will tire you out, but at the same time, they are quite rejuvenating and make you feel dehydrated. Water babies especially love it and often say that they actually look forward to exercising in water rather than running away from it.
Water workouts bring joy to a lot of people, but they also often complain that they don’t see the results of their hard work. Just like it is with normal exercise, I’d suggest keeping some patience. Make a splash and have some fun in water; the results will soon follow!
So put some great music on and burns all those calories away. Talking about music, we’ve got some interesting facts about music coming up in my next blog post. Stay tuned to learn how music can help you in your everyday life.