Water aerobics

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A water aerobics class at an Aquatic Centre. Aqua Aerobics.JPG
A water aerobics class at an Aquatic Centre.

Water aerobics (waterobics, aquatic fitness, aquafitness, aquafit) is the performance of aerobic exercise in water such as in a swimming pool. Done mostly vertically and without swimming typically in waist deep or deeper water, it is a type of resistance training. Water aerobics is a form of aerobic exercise that requires water-immersed participants. Most water aerobics is in a group fitness class setting with a trained professional teaching for about an hour. The classes focus on aerobic endurance, resistance training, and creating an enjoyable atmosphere with music. Different forms of water aerobics include: aqua Zumba, water yoga, aqua aerobics, and aqua jog.

Contents

Variation from land-based aerobics

While similar to land aerobics, in that it focuses on cardiac training, water aerobics differs in that it adds the component of water resistance and buoyancy. Although heart rate does not increase as much as in land-based aerobics, the heart is working just as hard and underwater exercise actually pumps more blood to the heart. [1]

Exercising in the water is not only aerobic, but also strength-training oriented due to the water resistance. Moving your body through the water creates a resistance that will activate muscle groups. Hydro aerobics is a form of an aerobic exercise that requires water-immersed participants.

Variation of format

An Aqua cycling class Aqua spinning class aboard a cruise ship.jpg
An Aqua cycling class

New aquatic formats are arising into the exercise world with ideas such as: aqua cycling and water pole dancing. Water aerobics is beneficial to a multitude of participants because the density of the water allows easy mobility for those with arthritis, obesity, and other conditions. Further, it is an effective way for people of all ages to incorporate aerobics and muscle-strengthening into their weekly exercise schedule. Most classes last for 45–55 minutes. [2] People do not even have to be strong swimmers to participate in water aerobics.

The performance of movement while suspended in water where the feet cannot touch the bottom surface, resulting in a non-impact, high-resistant, total body exercise workout, is known as deep water aerobics. Benefits of this method include less stress on the back, hips, knees and ankles.

Benefits

Most land-based aerobic exercisers do not incorporate strength training into their schedules and therefore adding aquatic exercise can greatly improve their health. As stated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008), “Adults should also [in addition to aerobic exercise] do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.” Over time water aerobics can lead to a reduction of blood pressure and resting heart rate, which will improve health overall. [3]

According to Moreno (1996) and her quotes from Huey an Olympic athlete trainer, the benefits of water resistance training include the activation of opposing muscle groups for a balanced workout. The push and pull of the water allows both increased muscle training and a built-in safety barrier for joints. In fact, before water aerobics water, injury therapy used the benefits of water. The water also helps to reduce lactic acid buildup. [1] Another obvious benefit to water exercise is the cooling effect of the water on the system. The average temperature around 78 degrees in a group fitness pool, this temperature will force the body to burn calories to stay at homeostasis while also maintaining a cool, comfortable atmosphere with less sweat noticeable to the participant.

A water aerobics class incorporating flotation devices. 07-06 WtrAerob1a.jpg
A water aerobics class incorporating flotation devices.

The mitigation of gravity makes water aerobics safe for individuals able to keep their heads out of water, including the elderly. [4] Exercise in water can also prevent overheating through continuous cooling of the body. Older people are more prone to arthritis, osteoporosis, and weak joints therefore water aerobics is the safest form of exercise for these conditions. Research studies can teach us about the benefits the elderly can receive by participating in water aerobics. In a study done in Brazil, “Effects of water-based exercise in obese older women: Impact of short-term follow-up study on anthropometric, functional fitness and quality of life parameters” the effects of long-term water aerobics was tested. Although it did not conclude exactly as planned, their test subjects did experience improved aerobic capacity, muscle endurance, and better overall life quality. [5] The water also provides a stable environment for elderly with less balance control and therefore prevents injury.

Disadvantages

Water aerobics has a few disadvantages from a practicality standpoint. Aqua aerobics requires access to a swimming pool via facilities, and in addition to any membership fees to access facilities, classes may cost extra. Although aquatic exercise greatly reduces the risk of injury, it is typically seen that not as many calories are burned as would be in some other activities. [6] Though aquatic activities in general expend more energy than many land-based activities performed at the same pace due to the increased resistance of water, the speed with which movements can be performed is greatly reduced. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

Swimming Self propulsion of a person through water

Swimming is the self-propulsion of a person through water, usually for recreation, sport, exercise, or survival. Locomotion is achieved through coordinated movement of the limbs and the body. Humans can hold their breath underwater and undertake rudimentary locomotive swimming within weeks of birth, as a survival response.

Exercise Bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness

Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise is physical exercise of low to high intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. "Aerobic" is defined as "relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen", and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism. Aerobic exercise is performed by repeating sequences of light-to-moderate intensity activities for extended periods of time. Aerobic exercise may be better referred to as "solely aerobic", as it is designed to be low-intensity enough that all carbohydrates are aerobically turned into energy via mitochondrial ATP production. Mitochondria are organelles that rely on oxygen for the metabolism of carbs, proteins, and fats.

Physical fitness State of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities

Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical exercise, and sufficient rest.

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate of energy expenditure per unit time by endothermic animals at rest. It is reported in energy units per unit time ranging from watt (joule/second) to ml O2/min or joule per hour per kg body mass J/(h·kg). Proper measurement requires a strict set of criteria be met. These criteria include being in a physically and psychologically undisturbed state, in a thermally neutral environment, while in the post-absorptive state (i.e., not actively digesting food). In bradymetabolic animals, such as fish and reptiles, the equivalent term standard metabolic rate (SMR) is used. It follows the same criteria as BMR, but requires the documentation of the temperature at which the metabolic rate was measured. This makes BMR a variant of standard metabolic rate measurement that excludes the temperature data, a practice that has led to problems in defining "standard" rates of metabolism for many mammals.

Indoor cycling, often also called spinning, as an organized sport, is a form of exercise with classes focusing on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity and recovery, and involves using a special stationary exercise bicycle with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting. When people took cycling indoors in the late 19th century, whether for reasons of weather or convenience, technology created faster, more compact and efficient machines over time. The first iterations of the stationary bike ranged from strange contraptions like the Gymnasticon to regular bicycles placed atop rollers.

Strength training

Strength training or resistance training involves the performance of physical exercises which are designed to improve strength and endurance. It is often associated with the use of weights but can take a variety of different forms.

Aerobic conditioning is a process whereby the heart and lungs are trained to pump blood more efficiently, allowing more oxygen to be delivered to muscles and organs.

Physical activity

Physical activity is defined as any voluntary bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity encompasses all activities, at any intensity, performed during any time of day or night. It includes exercise and incidental activity integrated into daily activity. This integrated activity may not be planned, structured, repetitive or purposeful for the improvement of fitness, and may include activities such as walking to the local shop, cleaning, working, active transport etc. Lack of physical activity is associated with a range of negative health outcomes whereas increased physical activity can improve physical as well as mental health. Physical activity increases energy expenditure and is a key regulator in controlling body weight.

Interval training is a type of training that involves a series of high intensity workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods. The high-intensity periods are typically at or close to anaerobic exercise, while the recovery periods involve activity of lower intensity. Varying the intensity of effort exercises the heart muscle, providing a cardiovascular workout, improving aerobic capacity and permitting the person to exercise for longer and/or at more intense levels.

General fitness training works towards broad goals of overall health and well-being, rather than narrow goals of sport competition, larger muscles or concerns over appearance. A regular moderate workout regimen and healthy diet can improve general appearance markers of good health such as muscle tone, healthy skin, hair and nails, while preventing age or lifestyle-related reductions in health and the series of heart and organ failures that accompany inactivity and poor diet.

Sports nutrition

Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet with regards to improving anyone's athletic performance. Nutrition is an important part of many sports training regimens, being popular in strength sports and endurance sports. Sports nutrition focuses its studies on the type, as well as the quantity of fluids and food taken by an athlete. In addition, it deals with the consumption of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, supplements and organic substances that include carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Health club A place which houses exercise equipment for the purpose of physical exercise

A health club is a place that houses exercise equipment for the purpose of physical exercise.

Outline of exercise Overview of and topical guide to exercise

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to exercise:

Aquatic therapy refers to treatments and exercises performed in water for relaxation, fitness, physical rehabilitation, and other therapeutic benefit. Typically a qualified aquatic therapist gives constant attendance to a person receiving treatment in a heated therapy pool. Aquatic therapy techniques include Ai Chi, Aqua Running, Bad Ragaz Ring Method, Burdenko Method, Halliwick, Watsu, and other aquatic bodywork forms. Therapeutic applications include neurological disorders, spine pain, musculoskeletal pain, postoperative orthopedic rehabilitation, pediatric disabilities, and pressure ulcers.

Exercise prescription commonly refers to the specific plan of fitness-related activities that are designed for a specified purpose, which is often developed by a fitness or rehabilitation specialist for the client or patient. Due to the specific and unique needs and interests of the client/patient, the goal of exercise prescription should be focused on motivation and customization, thus making achieving goals more likely to become successful.

Zumba Exercise program

Zumba is an exercise fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Pérez during the 1990s. Zumba is a trademark owned by Zumba Fitness, LLC. The Brazilian pop singer Claudia Leitte has become the international ambassador to Zumba Fitness.

Hydrogymnastics

Hydrogymnastics is a water-based therapeutic exercise. As its name suggests, this form of aquatic therapy or aquatic rehabilitation is performed in water, and it can take place in swimming pools at aquatic leisure centres and/or in home pools. Being a form of aquatic therapy, hydrogymnastics aims to improve the physical and psychological health and well-being of an individual. Hydrogymnastics can be performed by anyone, including youths, middle-aged people, the elderly, athletes and those with disabilities. Hydrogymnastics is often assisted by a qualified aquatic therapist and/or exercise physiologist. Although the effects of hydrogymnastics may vary between individuals belonging to different age groups and genders, hydrogymnastics mainly improves one's cardiovascular fitness, strength, balance and mobility.

Though people often use physical activity and exercise interchangeably, the terms have different definitions. “Physical activity” refers to any body movement that burns calories, whether it’s for work or play, daily chores, or the daily commute. “Exercise,” a subcategory of physical activity, refers to -planned, structured, and repetitive- activities aimed at improving physical fitness and health. Exercise is a bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. Physical activity is number one most common health issue in the world. Staying physically active can help prevent or delay certain diseases, including some cancers, heart disease and diabetes, and also relieve depression and improve mood.

References

  1. 1 2 Moreno, B. (1996). "Making a Splash". ebscohost.com . Retrieved 2013-11-07.[ dead link ]
  2. 1 2 White, Martha (1995). Water exercise . Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. ISBN   0-87322-726-3.
  3. Piotrowska-Calka, E.E. (2010). "EFFECTS OF A 24-WEEK DEEP WATER AEROBIC TRAINING PROGRAM ON CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS". Biology of Sport . Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  4. Duxbury, Andrew (2006-02-28). "Water Fitness". About.com . Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  5. Rica, Roberta Luksevicius; Carneiro, Renata Meireles Mendes; Serra, Andrey Jorge; Rodriguez, Daniel; Pontes Junior, Francisco L; Bocalini, Danilo Sales (2013). "Effects of water-based exercise in obese older women: Impact of short-term follow-up study on anthropometric, functional fitness and quality of life parameters: Water based exercise in obese older women". Geriatrics & Gerontology International. 13 (1): 209–214. doi:10.1111/j.1447-0594.2012.00889.x.
  6. "Calories Burned During Exercise". nutristrategy.com. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-07.