The benefits of Aqua Exercise.
- Warm water pressure helps to block pain receptors, making it ideal for persons post surgery. (back, hip, knee, shoulder etc)
- Water works to keep you buoyant meaning the exercise is less weight bearing. This means there is less pressure on the joints.
- If you suffer with osteoporosis the water is generally a safer option for exercise.
- Range of motion around your joints in improved.
- Water acts as the resistance (so every movement is moving against a resistance) there and many benefits to resistance training!
- Warm water helps to improve circulation, helping to heal injuries.
- There are classes for the social aspect or simply workout on your own if you prefer.
- Classes can be in shallow or deep pools so if you are a Sinker or a Swimmer there will be a class for you.
- Asthmatics may find the damp warm air more chest friendly than the cold air con in the gym or studios.
So what are the classes like then?
Aqua classes will vary but generally they are group classes that are either done with or without music. An instructor will be on the pool side giving instructions to the class on how to perform each exercise. The exercises will progress from easy to more intense as the instructor moves through the warm up phase, pulse raising phase and main session before reducing the intensity and stretching at the end. The instructor will offer alternative exercises so don’t worry if you cant do the hard ones 🙂 The exercises will generally flow well in an aqua aerobics class and you may use equipment. Equipment may be in the form of foam noodles, foam dumbbells, webbed mitts, foam boards, or belts. There can also be Aqua circuit classes, these are a circuit of exercises that you perform to one after another, this is not an Aqua aerobics class so always double check this if booking in for the class.
I feel self concious in my cozzie so how do i over come my thoughts about this?
Firstly as an instructor i can let you know that in the class the water is splashing around and this means us instructors can not see through the water very easily. So vanish those thought of ogling instructors, if you feel this is happeningreport this to the manger immediately and it will be dealt with as a priority i am sure. Instructors should be professional at all times.
Secondly use a large towel, wrap this around you and walk from the changing roomto the poolside, normally you will find hooks by the steps so just be swift as you hang up your towel and get into the pool.
Third have the right clothing, men don’t go for the tightest speedos – the ladies don’t like it and it makes my eyes water! Ladies make sure you havea cozzie that both fits your assets and that you feel comfortable in. There are many shapes, styles and sizes so maybe have a shopping trip. Remember the classes will involve jumping around so go for a more supportive style if you can.
I would really encourage more people to exercise in the water, the pool is under used and a great place to help you achieve your goals.
But does it really work?
Aqua is very beneficial, one client of mine had previously endured a hip replacement at the age of approx 60 years. She hated her walking stick and was desperate not to use it. She felt over weight, sluggish and frustrated. After some one to one sessions in the pool building her confidence she followed the exercise programme and came to the aqua classes each week religiously. The pool had a glass dome roof and the morning sun streaming through made it a great way to start the day! (I wont mention the pastries and coffee she would have on the way out!) The end of the story is that in a number of months she was stick free, she had lost weight (no thanks to the pasties and coffee) and was physically stronger than before. Her husband was said not to be impressed with this as now she could catch him!! 😉
3 Quick Pool exercises for you to try
- Running in the water – keep the knees high and use your hands to help you move forwards, either as a doggy paddle or breast stroke style motion.
- Hop Scotch – Imagine you have a line in front of you, keeping your feet and knees together hop over the line, back and forth using your hands to help propel you. Tuck your knees up each time you hop over the line. you can go front and back or side to side of the line.
- Star jumps – keeping your hands in the water with this one.
Why not simply repeat these 3 exercises 3 times, and do them each for 1 minutes. That’s under 10 minutes exercise and see how you feel… you know if you were working hard enough. Always ask a fitness professional if these exercises are ok for you do perform if you do have any conditions or if you have any health concerns.