Aqua Fitness is the performance of aerobic exercise in water. It is done mostly in a vertical position typically in shallow or deep water. It is a form of strength training that requires participants to be immersed in water in a group fitness class setting with a trained Aqua Fitness Professional. Working out in the water is one of the most therapeutic activities one can take part in. Aqua Fitness builds cardio, strength and resistance all while being easy on the joints and in a cool and relaxing atmosphere!
Different forms of water fitness include Aqua Cardio, Aqua Seniors, Aqua Step, Acquapole®, SAF Aqua Drums Vibes, Aqua Zumba, Aqua Cycling, Aqua Jump, Aqua Yoga, Aqua Pilates, Aqua Jogging & Aqua Bootcamp.
Some benefits of Aqua Fitness:
Increase muscle strength – Water is a flowing and constantly changing product of nature, and as such can be unpredictable in its movements. Since water flows in multiple directions, the resistance in the pool can range from 4 to 42 times greater than air, ensuring the body’s muscles get a rigid workout. 12 weeks of regular aquatic exercise has proven participants had made significant gains in strength, flexibility and agility.
Build endurance – Unlike traditional weights, which require the human body to push and pull against the weight plus gravity, water resistance is a more natural resistance which requires the body to strain through the water rather than against it.
Increases flexibility – As the body is subject to water resistance during aquatic exercise, which requires movement in various directions while adjusting to the push and pull of water, the joints naturally increase their range of motion therefore improving flexibility.
Low-impact exercise – We may not often think of it, but the traditional impact we place on our joints during a “land workout” can be taxing. In water fitness, the buoyancy of the water helps takes off some of the impact we tend to place on our body, due to our own water weight. In simple terms, our body is not subject to gravity in the water, therefore the impact our joints take on when running in water, is not equal to the impact when running on land. This is particularly appealing to those with joint conditions such as arthritis or those currently undergoing physical rehabilitation.
Alleviates pressure on the joints – Studies have shown water-based exercises such as aqua fitness relieve pressure placed on joints from normal wear-and-tear and arthritis. In fact, hydrotherapy is shown to be the leading form of therapy for those suffering from joint problems.
Relieves stress and decreases anxiety – Watching bodies of water in motion can be one of the most soothing activities one can take part in to help relieve stress, which is why vacations to beaches and island paradises are such popular getaways. Being in the water can be just as relaxing. A Polish study conducted in 2007 found that aquatic exercise significantly decreased anxiety and negative mood states in women.
Burns calories – The combination of strength and cardio workouts mixed with water resistance in aquatic exercise ensures the body is getting a full workout. Depending on cardio activity, equipment, water temperature, volume and buoyancy, the body can burn between 300 to 500 calories in an hour of exercise.
Reduces blood pressure- Water resistance is not just a buoyancy feature to help work the muscles. In fact, the water pressure actually works with your blood as well and enables one’s blood flow to circulate more effectively throughout the body, effectively decreasing blood pressure and, in the long run, decreasing resting heart rate. This benefit means your heart is maintaining its productivity while putting less stress on your heart!
Cooling exercise – As temperatures get warmer and the summer heat draws near, the desire to exercise in the burning sun may suddenly not seem so appealing, and so naturally dipping into any body of water becomes alluring. Water fitness can satisfy that need to feel cool in warmer temperatures while still enabling an athlete to exercise. It’s cool, crisp and refreshing, especially knowing you aren’t struggling in the heat!
Popular activity – Aqua fitness is not limited to any age group or skill level and is becoming increasingly popular. As a result, aqua fitness is known to a be one of the most popular bonding activities for friends and family. Aqua Fitness appeals to all ages – with younger generations naturally enjoying the fun to be had in aqua fitness while still appealing to the older generations and their need to maintain a moderate level of physical fitness.
Aqua Fitness has a lot of benefits to offer and is a very underrated fitness activity. Why not get to an Aqua class today?! Head on over to my classes & personal training page to see where you can find me!