Is Water Aerobics Right For You?

If you haven’t been doing much – or any – exercise in a while, one of the best ways to begin getting fit again is to swim for exercise. People who make ideal candidates for a swimming for exercise program include arthritis and diabetes patients, the elderly or disabled, athletes who need rehabilitation due to injuries, pregnant women and significantly overweight people. Swimming is a very low impact form of exercise, which creates almost no stress on the joints, while improving your range of motion and providing relief from stiffness, aches and muscle pain. Swimming for exercise also provides all the benefits of a complete cardiovascular workout.

When you’re just starting out, most experts agree that it’s best to begin with what’s termed ‘vertical strength training’. By simply walking laps in waist high water, doing knee bends or arm rotations, your range of motion improves as you start to regain strength. In health conditions such as arthritis, a swimming for exercise program is a terrific way to relieve joint stiffness and regain strength lost due to the arthritic condition. You can then progress to neck high water, doing some of these same exercises to increase the benefits of strengthening.

When you’re ready, your next step is to start swimming. Certain strokes, such as the breast stroke and back crawl, provide a complete workout for your body, using all of your major muscles, particularly the legs. Other swimming strokes tend to tone your arm and upper body muscles more than your legs. The front crawl provides the best workout for your arms and torso.

Swimming is your best bet for regaining strength, due to the fact that exercising in the water provides twelve times the resistance when compared to the same exercise performed on land.

While you can lose weight while swimming for exercise, it won’t be as rapid as other forms of exercise for weight loss. However, for people who aren’t able to do land based exercises, due to the pain they experience, or in the case of obesity, swimming builds your strength and provides a safe venue for getting fit. As your condition improves, you can supplement your swimming for exercise program with short workouts of the land based type to accelerate the weight loss.

As to why this is true, there seems to be a number of theories. Most medical experts concur that swimming tends to lower your metabolic rate, resulting in fewer calories burned in performing exercises in water. However, you can increase the calories burned by alternating between moderate and vigorous swimming workouts. Until you’re fit enough to swim vigorously for sustained periods, start with a short, but vigorous swimming stroke, then return to a slower pace. As a ballpark example, a vigorous 30 minute session, doing any stroke, burns, on average, about 350 calories. Simply treading water for 30 minutes, burns approximately 125 calories.

Pregnant women should consult their doctor before beginning a swimming exercise program. Swimming is generally a safe and healthy exercise, but you may have mitigating factors that would not make this a good idea. Pregnant women should avoid sessions in a hot tub or sauna. Discuss this with your doctor.

Swimming for exercise is, overall, a great way to get in shape. Have fun as you get fit!

If you haven’t been doing much – or any – exercise in a while, one of the best ways to begin getting fit again is to swim for exercise. People who make ideal candidates for a swimming for exercise program include arthritis and diabetes patients, the elderly or disabled, athletes who need rehabilitation due to injuries, pregnant women and significantly overweight people. Swimming is a very low impact form of exercise, which creates almost no stress on the joints, while improving your range of motion and providing relief from stiffness, aches and muscle pain. Swimming for exercise also provides all the benefits of a complete cardiovascular workout.

When you’re just starting out, most experts agree that it’s best to begin with what’s termed ‘vertical strength training’. By simply walking laps in waist high water, doing knee bends or arm rotations, your range of motion improves as you start to regain strength. In health conditions such as arthritis, a swimming for exercise program is a terrific way to relieve joint stiffness and regain strength lost due to the arthritic condition. You can then progress to neck high water, doing some of these same exercises to increase the benefits of strengthening.

When you’re ready, your next step is to start swimming. Certain strokes, such as the breast stroke and back crawl, provide a complete workout for your body, using all of your major muscles, particularly the legs. Other swimming strokes tend to tone your arm and upper body muscles more than your legs. The front crawl provides the best workout for your arms and torso.

Swimming is your best bet for regaining strength, due to the fact that exercising in the water provides twelve times the resistance when compared to the same exercise performed on land.

While you can lose weight while swimming for exercise, it won’t be as rapid as other forms of exercise for weight loss. However, for people who aren’t able to do land based exercises, due to the pain they experience, or in the case of obesity, swimming builds your strength and provides a safe venue for getting fit. As your condition improves, you can supplement your swimming for exercise program with short workouts of the land based type to accelerate the weight loss.

As to why this is true, there seems to be a number of theories. Most medical experts concur that swimming tends to lower your metabolic rate, resulting in fewer calories burned in performing exercises in water. However, you can increase the calories burned by alternating between moderate and vigorous swimming workouts. Until you’re fit enough to swim vigorously for sustained periods, start with a short, but vigorous swimming stroke, then return to a slower pace. As a ballpark example, a vigorous 30 minute session, doing any stroke, burns, on average, about 350 calories. Simply treading water for 30 minutes, burns approximately 125 calories.

Pregnant women should consult their doctor before beginning a swimming exercise program. Swimming is generally a safe and healthy exercise, but you may have mitigating factors that would not make this a good idea. Pregnant women should avoid sessions in a hot tub or sauna. Discuss this with your doctor.

Swimming for exercise is, overall, a great way to get in shape. Have fun as you get fit!