Looking for a workout that is easy on your joints, but still works your heart and major muscle groups? Water aerobics is all that, plus it's a fun and a comfortable way to keep moving in hot weather.
Photo courtesy of Scott Ableman
Water aerobics is usually done in a pool of chest-deep water, 82 degrees F to 86 degrees F. Cardiovascular fitness is the focus, but the routines - often done to music - can help you improve strength, flexibility and balance, too. Most people take a class to start. An instructor teaches you the basic steps. You don't have to know how to swim because your feet typically touch the pool bottom.
Water aerobics may be just the thing if you are a senior, are pregnant or suffer from arthritis or low back pain. Water buoyancy gives you support that reduces the stress of carrying your weight. In water, you're also less likely to get injured or to be achy or sore later.
Taking the plunge
A typical water workout lasts 40 to 50 minutes in an indoor or outdoor pool. As with any type of new exercise program, check with your doctor before you start.
During class, your instructor may pass out kickboards, small water barbells or foam cylinders to help you float or increase resistance. If the water is deep, you may be given a flotation device to keep you upright.
You'll start with a five-minute warm-up at poolside or in the water. From there, you may move on to knee lifts, jumping jacks, kicks or walking up and down the pool. Some people add kickboxing or circuit training to their water workout. The session should end with a five-minute cool-down.
For more information about water aerobics continue reading at myOptumHealth.com.