In the old days, water aerobics were only for senior citizens or patients in rehab. Nowadays, it encompasses a variety of trendy underwater sports, all of which are healthy. “The body has 90 per cent support when underwater. That means the joints only have to offer 10 per cent support,” says Theodor Stemper, a sports scientist at the Bergischen University in Wuppertal.
Why is Water Aerobics Good?
The buoyancy adds comfort and alleviates the pressure on the joints. “That lets a person participate in a lot of aqua-training, even if they are over or have never done it before,” says Stemper. Aqua-fitness is also great for pregnant women or people suffering from a joint injury.
Aids like the “noodle” or an aqua-jogging belt add to the benefits of buoyancy.
“An aqua-jogging belt with a high back is ideal for beginners, since it helps balance out the body better,” advises Karsten Hermanns, product manager at “Sport Thieme” in Garsleben.
Apart from buoyancy, the water pressure can prove beneficial. For every extra metre of water depth, the pressure rises by 0.1 bar, a measure of pressure.
“That creates a comfortable massaging effect, especially for the legs and rump. It also promotes the circulation of blood through the skin, muscles and connective tissue. Also, the flow of blood from the legs back to the heart is assisted through support of the venous valves,” says Stemper.
Benefits of Water Aerobics
“It also promotes the metabolism.”All these effects can be achieved in aqua-relaxing and aqua- balancing, which involves minimal physical exertion. The floating effect helps promote relaxation. All other forms of aqua-fitness require some form of activity. And all have positive effects on health.
“Aqua-jogging, aqua-running or aqua-aerobics all help train heart and circulatory endurance. Aqua-boxing or hydropower builds up the musculature and the musculoskeletal system,” adds Peter Freyer, a sports instructor at the North Rhine Westfalian swimming association in Duisburg.
Training in water always has a bigger impact than training in the air as water is 1,000 times more dense. “That means I’m working against significantly greater resistance,” says Freyer. “A lot more is being demanded of the body.”That’s even more so when the speed is upped or resistance increased.
That can be achieved with gloves, paddles or shoes with larger soles. Anyone who wants to try out water sports should know which aqua- fitness regime they plan to try. Swimming associations and pools are the best place to start looking for aqua fitness lessons.
“A good provider makes it clear where their focus lies,” says Freyer. Swimming associations and private organizations train aqua fitness trainers. “Sports instructors, physiotherapists and swimming supervisors with extra qualifications usually have a well-grounded background,” says Stemper. A seal of approval from a health insurance organization is also usually a sign quality. Health insurers often reimburse aqua- fitness costs.
So if you have not tried it in the past why not now. Call the local pool and see when they have a water aerobics class for you to try.