Aqua Aerobics at the Local Pool:
Easy and Affordable!
A Guest Post by Kaitlin Gardner, AnApplePerDay.com
If you are trying to get into shape, stay in shape, or even rehabilitate after a sports or other injury, look no further than your local pool—and by local I mean your own, a neighbor’s or a friend’s.
Aqua aerobics is an affordable and absolutely easy activity, and what makes it ideal for everyone, young and old, is that it is adaptable to any level of fitness. Thanks to the buoyancy that water provides, moving around is virtually risk free (no tripping or falling!), and the water will help provide resistance against muscles, so even a seriously out of shape person is gaining strength by just doing simple moves in the pool, over time.
Here are few other resources that will show you the variety of aqua aerobics routines and moves:
After having my first child, I waited a few months before resuming a regular exercise routine, but then I took the plunge: I signed up for aqua aerobics at a local community aquatic center. The first day of class, we didn’t even get in the pool. Instead, we listened to the instructor tell us about how fantastic this new world of aqua aerobics would be, whether we were trying to lose weight, tone up our arms, legs and abs, or just keep our joints flexible and our cardio function performing well. Here’s what we learned:
Water as a fitness tool is practically unmatched: it provides resistance, which strengthens muscles; it boosts cardio function; it provides a gentle cushion from impact that can hurt joints, tendons and cartilage. If that wasn’t enough, the instructor shared a few things about the therapeutic benefits of water workouts. Turns out, water jogging closely mimics land-based running, so triathletes and other long-distance runners who don’t want to compromise their form often continue working out even while recovering from an injury (thanks, no impact!).
Injury? No Problem!
About six months post-partum, I turned my ankle coming up my stairs while carrying my baby. Because I wasn’t able to break my fall with my hands (I used my elbow while holding tight to my little bundle!) the injury was a little worse than it probably should have been. It didn’t stop me at all: I taped my ankle, used my crutches to get to the edge of the pool, and waded into the deep end every other day, where with the help of a buoyancy belt, I was able to continue working out for the entire three weeks of using crutches on land. If fact, I lost an additional four pounds in those three weeks, continuing the pace I had already set over the last several months prior to getting injured.
Obviously, you’ll need a pool. It doesn’t matter if you have a four-foot above ground pool, or access to an Olympic-sized pool at your local gym or sports club. There are plenty of ways to do repetitive exercises in waist deep water. If you do have a “deep end” in the pool you are using, you’ll have even more options, like aqua jogging and treading water.
One of the great things about water aerobics is that it is affordable. While special gear isn’t a necessity, there are a few things that will add a little challenge (when you are ready) to your workout, including webbed water gloves, wrist and/or ankle weights, a buoyancy belt, and water shoes. Again, without any of these things, you can still get a great workout. If you don’t believe me, get into a pool and do 50 jumping jacks in chest-deep water.
Don’t forget: Stay hydrated before and after your workout, especially if you are going to be outdoors in the sun. Wear sunscreen and have fun!
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside and discovering interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint with watercolors.