Water Aerobic Exercises

Water aerobic exercises are perfect for seniors, children and everyone in between.

These exercises are a great way to get a fantastic and fun workout. 

This form of aerobic exercises are generally done in shallow water such as a swimming pool. 

Some people refer to it as AquaFit or Aqua Aerobics.

There are some aquatic workouts that are performed in the deeper waters but many classes and exercise routines are done in the shallow water. 

These are not only a great way to get your workout but a great way to beat the summer heat.  What I love about them is no one can tell when I’m sweating.

What Are Water Aerobic Exercises?

water aerobic exercisesWater aerobics are typical exercises you may do on the land but instead they are performed in the water. 

Some typical exercise routines may including walking or jogging in place in the water, hopping or jumping jacks, imitating cross country skiing and various arm movements.

Many water aerobic exercise routines will also incorporate strength training movements.  The water provides an excellent resistance in order to tone and build your lean muscle mass

Advantages and Disadvantages of Water Aerobics

As with any exercise, there are advantages and disadvantages as compared to other types of workouts.

Advantages of Water Aerobics

In addition to the typical benefits to exercise, aquatic exercises give you the added benefit reducing the risk of joint and muscle injury. 

By performing exercises in the water, your body is supported and there is less stress on your muscles when stretching.

This allows a greater range of motion.

When exercising in water you are also preventing overheating as you are constantly cooling down your body in the water.  

Water aerobics are a great stress reliever.  

Be sure to read this article to find out what other benefits water aerobic exercises can give you. 

Disadvantages of Water Aerobics

Water aerobic exercises require access to a swimming pool.  If you have a swimming pool then you are set to go.  However not everyone has a pool so this form of exercising can get costly. 

In addition to the cost of the swimming pool facility, many places charge an additional fee for the aerobics class. 

Unless you have access to an indoor pool, another disadvantage to this type of exercise is that it can be seasonal only. Depending on the area you live, jumping in an outdoor pool in the middle of winter may not be an option.

If you have access to a swimming pool, and weather permitting if it's outdoors, then adding at least one day a week of water aerobics is a great way to get fit and healthy.

It's a great way to keep your exercise routines varied.

Water Aerobics for Seniors

As we age our bones become weaker and our joints ache more.  This makes it difficult to perform certain exercises. However, seniors can still get the benefits of aerobic exercises with water aerobics. 

This type of exercise reduces the impact to the joints and bones but still provides a great cardio workout.

Because the water adds an additional resistance you are working your heart without overheating your body.  This type of exercise also builds lean muscle which helps to strengthen the bones.

That's why water aerobics for seniors is a perfect choice for both aerobic exercise and strength training exercises.

How Many Calories Will I Burn?

One question people as of aquatic exercises (or with any exercise) is "how many calories will I burn?".

If you are trying to lose weight, and have added a workout routine to your diet plan, then the number of calories you burn is important to your success.

The amount of calories burned during exercise has many variables. The most common variables include weight, age, intensity, duration and resistance.

Other variables, which are harder to factor into the calculation, include environmental factors such as temperature, humidity levels or even the clothing you wear while working out.

Each of these variables plays a part in the amount of calories expended while performing an exercise. Depending on the exercise, the impact that variable has on the calculation can change.

For instance, if you are going for a brisk walk, then your weight has a greater impact on calories expended than if you were riding a stationary bike.

The more weight you bear during a workout, the more calories burned. So while walking, your weight is a larger factor in determining the number of calories burned.

But when you hop on a bike, you are no longer performing a "weight bearing" exercise, so your weight plays less of a role in determining the amount of calories burned.

This may lead you to believe that water aerobics, which is a lower weight bearing exercise, would not burn as many calories as your brisk walk. Well, this is not necessarily true. While your weight may not be as large of a factor, the resistance factor is greater.

In fact, a couple of studies (Cassady 1992 and Darby 2000) compared upper and lower body workouts done on land versus in the water. To sum up the results, these studies showed that performing the exercises in the water created a higher MET (metabolic equivalent) versus on land.

The studies estimated that if both the upper and lower body movements were combined in the water, you would expend approximately 7-15 mets. 

This would compare to running or walking at 10-11 minutes / mile.

Basically, you would be burning approximately 400 to 500 calories for one hour of water aerobic exercises. This makes aquatic exercises a great addition to your weight loss workout routines

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