Thursday, October 9, 2008

Water Aerobics: A Refreshing Workout That's Fit For Virtually Anyone.

If you own a swimming pool or have access to a swimming pool, then water aerobics may be the ultimate workout answer you're looking for. That's because working out in water almost automatically combines features necessary to a healthy, safe--and fun--workout.
A workout that offers almost constant resistance, but nearly zero impact on joints. A workout that burns calories no matter how intense or light the routine, and builds lean muscle in the process. And a workout that promotes improved cardiovascular health, no matter what the level of fitness.
What's the catch?
The catch is, that there is no catch! Water offers nearly 12 times the resistance to movement than air does, while reducing the "feel" of your body weight by about 90 percent when submerged to the shoulders. That means no matter what the water aerobic exercise, you'll burn constant energy (calories) by moving against the resistance of the water in the swimming pool, while sparing your joints nearly all of the impact due to simple buoyancy.
What's the workout?
There are plenty of articles and books available about water aerobic workouts, and you can always opt to take a class to learn more. However, the great thing about water aerobics is that almost anyone can begin on their own using simple exercises and movements they've done on land for years.
Here is a partial list of suggestions for beginning a water aerobic program. A pair of aqua shoes and an inflatable or buoyant device are helpful but not necessary--just be sure you've been cleared by a health professional for exercise to understand both your limitations, and your goals.
Stretch and Warm Up. Many of the same stretches you do on land, you can do in a pool. Be sure to warm up with feet squarely on the ground in the pool (avoid tip-toes) and keep your back straight rather than arched.
Walk. Jog. Run. Across the pool going forward, then back across the pool going in reverse. Increase the intensity of your movements over time to lessen strain and gradually warm up muscles.
Use Your Noodle. Floatational devices such as "water noodles" offer both support and variety to the kinds of exercises you can accomplish. Leg lifts, crunches, kicks--all target different muscle groups and are low-impact.
Gain Weight for Additional Benefits. Adding special water weights to your workouts can bring the range of motion of gym exercises into the swimming pool with you, without the heavy impact on joints or muscles. Movement against the water with weights creates greater resistance--resistance that takes more energy to overcome.
The point is, water aerobics is accessible exercise for nearly everyone, requiring only a swimming pool (and a little imagination) to take advantage of the calorie-burning, low-impact, tone-building benefits of working out in water.

: article by Brandwidth/Mandy [ Internet Marketing Specialist ]