On the dog days of summer, getting through a workout without braving the sweltering heat is a challenge. In addition to exercising, why not try water aerobics in the brisk morning hours? It’s a phenomenal workout with the bonus of staying refreshed in the water. Water fitness promotes cardio, strength and resistance while at the same time protecting the joints and in a cool and relaxing atmosphere.
For people with joint problems, hydrotherapy is the ideal form of therapy. The buoyancy of the water helps your body move more freely, and this helps protect your joints from body weight and the pressures of movement. The hydrostatic pressure of the water also works with your blood, allowing your blood flow to circulate through your body more effectively. This lowers the blood pressure and, in the long term, the resting heart rate. This benefit means that your heart will keep working and your heart will be less stressed.
If you want to build strength, resistance during water training is dynamic; The more force you use, the higher the resistance. The water creates more resistance than air and makes your muscles work harder. Every movement has a 360-degree pressure from the water, so more muscles are used. In water, however, the body weighs only one sixth of its mass, so movements are easier. Even if your muscles are working harder, you won’t feel a huge increase in resistance.
In aqua fitness training, the training intensity remains in the optimal range. In addition to the great workout benefits, the workout stays aerobic – meaning you avoid harmful overexertion. Plus, running in water burns almost twice as many calories as running on land, with the added benefit of being easy on your joints.
Along with all of these health and fitness benefits of aqua aerobics, being in the water is a joyful experience. It carries us and gives us a feeling of lightness that helps us forget our extra pounds. And unlike traditional group classes like aerobics or dance, aqua fitness classes are non-competitive. Nobody can tell if you’re screwing up a move while in the water. Many people find that they can better focus on the movements when they don’t worry about keeping up with everyone else.
There are practically no limits to movement in the water: jumping, walking, jogging, boxing, dancing, etc. Here are some ways to start with water aerobics:
• Water hiking: In Old Town Hot Springs, some of the loops closer to the building are flatter and perfect for walking up and down the lanes.
• Deep water course: You need a good swim belt and a deep pool end so your feet don’t touch the floor. Once in the water, simulate a real run by performing the same movements that you would make if you were running on land.
• Aquatic group exercise: Take a class today to develop strength, mobility, and fun.
• Water expansion: The buoyancy of the water not only reduces the pressure on the joints, but also improves flexibility. Balancing is easier, allowing you to stretch in ways that you may not always be able to do on land.
In addition to these activities, don’t forget to swim. Water has a calming effect and creates a relaxed state of mind. It can lead to deep relaxation or be used for effective and gentle osteopathic techniques, especially in a treatment with a specialized therapist.
Holly Harris is the Wellness Director at Old Town Hot Springs.