frugal living

Aqua Aerobics: Reduce Stress, Get Fit & Improve Heart Health

I love working out in the water, and it has been so beneficial I have almost completely given up gym workouts. I can do so many types of exercise in the water that I use the pool to improve my fitness, let go of stress, and it’s great for my heart at the same time.
aqua aerobicsThe fun of the water. If I don’t like to do something, I’ll likely give it up pretty quickly. Being in the water is just as enjoyable for me today as it was when we were splashing around in the pool as kids yelling “Marco” and hearing back “Polo.” I started to notice that the people in the gym didn’t look like they were having much fun, and I wasn’t either. We were all in our own worlds, listening to music and not talking much. When I went to my first aqua aerobics class, there was a completely different energy – people were laughing and smiling, and just enjoying the experience. Once I joined them, I found out why – I really enjoyed myself, and by the end, felt like I had gotten a solid workout and looked forward to going back.

Here are some resources with more great information about water workouts:

To relieve stress. If I’m having a tense week, I will take some extra time to get in a water workout – it will help me relax enough to enjoy the rest of my week. If I only have a few minutes, I will pop out into our back yard pool and just tread water. It works out my whole body, and I can feel tension bleed from my shoulders as I do it. If I have more time, I’ll go to the community pool for an aqua tai chi or yoga class, depending on what’s scheduled when I can make it. Those soothing workouts combine slow and relaxing movements with the cool of the water to really help me unwind.

For the fitness. I love the water for my cardio workouts. If the lap lanes in the pool are open, I’ll just hop in one and begin to aqua jog up and down – I just move in a good jogging posture, and go as fast as I can. The resistance of the water makes me have to exert extra effort. If I really want a vigorous workout, I go for a kick boxing class. I kick and punch against the water for an hour, and it gets my heart pumping, and really works my arms and legs. My most recent adventure has been to give the sexy moves of Zumba a try. I was amazed at how tiring yet energizing that workout was. The best part – most of my body is underwater, so if I miss a step, no one sees.

Great for the heart. When a person is working out in the water, their heart rate will be about 13 percent lower – that means about 17 beats per minute less on average. This was the feature of water workouts that really sold me. It is thought that this lower heart rate is brought about because of the lessened effect of gravity and the lower temperature of the water. What it means to me is that I can exert the same effort in the water than on the treadmill at the gym, but it puts less stress on my heart. As I get older, I want that advantage, and I’ve already told my Dad about how beneficial water workouts are for the heart.

The pool has many benefits for those who aren’t really into swimming – you can let go of stress, get in shape, and it’s good for the heart. Plus, it’s just so enjoyable, you want to do it again.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania. They enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

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