The idea of jumping up and down and jiggling about in front of a massive mirror and masses of eyes isnâ€™t something that appeals to everyone. Some people, too, are ill advised to perform high impact aerobics for health reasons but are still looking for cardio and toning exercise. For these people, water aerobics is just perfect.
Water aerobics, like studio-based aerobics, efficiently increases the heart rate and uses all the major muscle groups. Like swimming, the huge benefit is the support offered by the water. The support helps to reduce injury and joint strain.
This means that anyone, no matter their age, can perform water aerobics. The support from the water added to the natural buoyancy of your body in the water makes it a perfect exercise for arthritis sufferers, pregnant women or those recovering from sports injuries.
â€œIn fact, when youâ€™re standing in shoulder-high water, only about 10 per cent of your body weight is acting on your joints, so exercise doesnâ€™t hurt as much,â€ says Doreen Stiskal, a physical therapist.
If you think of water aerobics as an easy and inferior alternative to studio-based aerobics, think again. The resistance helps to intensify the work of your muscles. Water provides 12 times more resistance than air, so every movement works the muscles 12 times as hard, even though it feels 12 times easier.
Water aerobics is a terrific exercise as it uses every muscle and joint in the body with minimal impact. You stay cool the entire time even though you are working up a comfortable sweat. And the fact that your actions are hidden underwater provides a little extra confidence to those not used to exercising in front of other people.
Water aerobics is generally performed in water that is waist high but it may reach chest height, depending on whether the lower or upper body is being targeted. Jogging in the water, for example, is done in deeper water so that a personâ€™s body stays completely submerged to work the arms as hard as the legs.
In shallow-water aerobics, you stand in waist to chest-deep water. Typical moves include many that are familiar to studio-aerobics, such as marching, stretching, circling your arms, bending your knees and swinging your legs.