There is a misconception that water aerobics is only suitable for pregnant women and the elderly. But water aerobics is quite intense, providing significant cardiovascular and strength training benefits. This is a workout that is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels — even for professional athletes who are cross-training. This summer, trade in your land-based aerobics class for one in the water for a cool, intense workout.
According to the American Council on Exercise, water buoyancy reduces the “weight” of a person to 90 percent. This reduces the burden on stress-bearing joints and muscles. For this reason, water aerobics will less likely cause injury and muscle soreness. If you are having difficulty performing certain body movements on land, you may find relief when performing them underwater. That is why water aerobics is excellent for those with arthritic joints or those recovering from painful injuries.
Your heart rate when exercising in water will be 17 beats per minute less than land-based workouts. Though your heart rate may indicate that your workout is too low, you will actually be working out quite intensely. Pay attention to your body and not your heart rate when engaging in water fitness.
Water aerobics also increases muscle strength. Instead of weights, the water provides a natural resistance to your movements. Being in the water also increases your lung capacity since your lungs are forced to work harder from the pressure of the water. Increase your long-term flexibility by performing difficult stretches. Being underwater will give you a wider-range of motion.