I've always loved water sports. I was on a swim team for
years, and I've tried all types of water activities - water polo, crew,
kayaking, surfing. In the water, above the water, it doesn't matter. I've liked
One class I have not tried yet is water aerobics. But it's
definitely on my to-do list. I've heard it's a great work-out and it's easy your joints. So what
exactly are the benefits of exercising in the water?
For people with knee pain or arthritis, water aerobics
provides a good workout without putting stress on the joints. This is because
water's buoyancy can support most of the body's weight. You can even add
weights to your ankles to intensify the workout without harming your knees.
In addition, water's resistance forces your muscles to work
harder, making for a more effective workout. The numbers I saw say that walking
on land for 30 minutes can burn 135 calories, while walking in deep water for
the same time can burn 264 calories. Similarly, jogging on land for 30 minutes
burns 240 calories; the same amount of deep water jogging burns 340 calories.
In other words, water aerobics combines stress-free movement
with an intense workout. That sounds pretty good to me - I think I may have
found my next water sport! Here are some
tips for exercising in the water, from the Creighton
Exercise in navel- to chest-deep water.
Place your entire foot on the bottom of the
Keep your abdominal and gluteal muscles tight
and your spine neutral, with your hips slightly forward and your back straight,
but not arched.
Wear water shoes for better traction and to
protect your feet from rough pool surfaces.
Add equipment such as weights or water gloves,
water paddles, or aquatic hand buoys if the exercise is too easy.
If you're looking for some more info about water exercise, this website seems like a good place to start: http://www.calainc.org/indexslide.htm.