24 Jul 2017
3 min read
We are always looking for ways to jazz up our workout routine, and swimming can make for a good option. This season, challenge yourself with a workout session in the pool—to avoid a fitness plateau. This is where aqua fitness comes in. Research has shown that aqua fitness sessions help improve the level of your body’s endurance. And this is just one of it numerous benefits.
According to Shova Gurung, certified aqua fitness instructor of Next Step Fitness and Spa, aqua fitness provides us with benefits similar to doing cardiovascular and strength training. Moreover, in aqua fitness, you burn more calories in each workout session, since you will be working against the resistance of water as well. Other advantages of this workout are as follows:
Less stress on your joints and muscles
“Because water does not create impact, even clients with back and joint problems can safely do various types of movements, such as jumping jacks, which demand a lot more energy on land,” says Gurung.
Get more out of your workout time
Aqua exercises enhance your strength, as working ‘against’ water activates your muscles. Additionally, less gravitational impact allows for greater range of motion, which improves your flexibility and joint functions and reduces the amount of pain that you usually feel after a workout session on land.
Now, this is something even I can vouch for! When I conducted my first aqua class, a member who had never attended any of my Zumba classes also participated. Later, when I asked him what piqued his interest in aqua fitness, he said, “Because when I’m underwater, nobody will judge my movements, and this makes me feel more comfortable.” So if you prefer this kind of privacy during workout, then aqua fitness is a good alternative.
Your heart works efficiently
Many studies have shown that working out in water allows our hearts to function more efficiently. Water pressure helps the heart circulate blood through the entire body, which leads to lower blood pressure and heart rates during aqua exercises, as compared to the same amount of effort exerted on land.
Give it a shot!
Regular group exercises are not conducted in the pool, but that does not mean that you should be trying out some moves on your next trip to the pool. Before you start out on your own regimen, do keep these safety tips in mind.
Gurung advises that you start from shallow water. “The ideal measurement—for both swimmers and non-swimmers—would be water at your chest level; you will reap the advantages of aqua fitness best when the water level is lower, rising up to the thighs or knees.” The primary goal, she says, should be to maintain your balance in an upright position when in the pool.
“To begin with, you need to ensure that you are constantly moving in the water. For my classes, I usually recommend simpler moves like aqua jogging and knee lifts,” says Gurung.
TRY: In the pool, stand up straight with a strong core. Start jogging as you would do on land and gradually try to bring your knees up. Once you get that momentum, pump your arms (bicep curls) while jogging.
Other moves: Jumping jacks (raise your hands over the water); crunches (extend your legs and touch the floor, pull both knees to the chest and repeat the move).
For advanced learners
After getting your basics right, Gurung suggests challenging yourself with deep-water aqua fitness routine and using pool equipment such as aqua dumbbells.
TRY: Do the above-mentioned moves in deeper water with an aqua belt, which provides greater support. Push yourself by performing the moves in a circuit. Do 12-15 reps of the entire circuit thrice. Other moves you can incorporate in the workout are: jogging, squat jumps (do not land on the floor), jumping jacks and side kicks. Gurung also advises that you always add arm movements for extra resistance.