Water workouts incorporate cardiovascular and strength training with the use of water weights, noodles and water gloves. Water aerobics is considered a "double concentric" exercise. For example, when bringing your hand towards your shoulder you are contracting the bicep (concentric movement). The "double" resistance is added against the hand due to the buoyancy and the resistance of the water. This full body workout burns high calories. Adding forward, backward and lateral movements increases the resistance which aids weight loss.
Increases Range of Motion
A person in the water weighs only 10 percent of his original weight. Therefore, a 150 pound person will weigh 15 pounds in nipple to neck deep water, the recommend height for optimum workout benefits. Very few injuries occur in the water due to the water's buoyancy. The joints are supported in the water, which increases the range of motion. When range of motion is increased, flexibility is also increased. The water also massages the muscles, bones and joints as the body moves in the water. People with arthritis, osteoporosis, herniated discs, obesity, sport-related injuries and pregnant women benefit from the "light weight" workout.
The guideline to maintain a healthy heart is to be physically active at least 30 minutes a day. Most water workout classes range from 30 to 60 minutes. The prevention of weight gain occurs when people workout for 60 to 90 minutes. Water workouts increase the heart rate to a moderate to vigorous level. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart, increases endurance and reduces the risk of receiving heart disease. Walking, jogging, jumping jacks and cross country skiing are some of the common cardiovascular movements used in a water workout.
Find a Class
Find an aqua-aerobics class by checking with your local hospital, Red Cross, or county park system. City pools and some gyms also offer water workouts.