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Aqua Aerobics

Tuesday, July 4, 2006


Additional Resources

Aqua Aerobics - Tuesday, July 4, 2006Aerobic exercise has many health benefits. It improves circulation, enhances lung function, and makes the heart stronger. Aerobic (or cardiorespiratory) exercise burns calories and aids in weight reduction. For those who have lost weight, regular exercise has been shown to be crucial in the maintenance of weight loss. Cardiorespiratory exercise also has other benefits, including reducing the risk of diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and elevating ""good"" blood cholesterol (HDL). Being physically active improves mood and sense of well-being.

When choosing a form of exercise, many people reflexively consider activities done on land, such as walking, jogging, running, biking, hiking, etc. Many individuals, however, may find exercise in the water preferable and more enjoyable. Among others, this includes those who are overweight, persons with arthritis, and pregnant women. There is a special property of liquids known as buoyancy that makes exercise in the water easier on joints than on land. Buoyancy is an upward force that counteracts gravity. Because of it, you weigh less in the water than on land. Some individuals may weigh up to 90% less in the water than on land. Therefore, it is easier to perform weight-bearing activity in the water. Less weight means less impact on joints. Pool exercise is less likely to aggravate arthritis. It can be a good exercise choice for overweight individuals, especially those who are new to exercise. Pregnant women may find exercise water activities such as swimming and group aquatics fun and a good way to maintain fitness.

Also, the cool water in the pool can help prevent the rise in core body temperature that can occur with traditional land exercise, especially during summer months. Rise in core body temperature is a consideration for pregnant women. Since such rise in temperature is less like to occur in the pool, water exercise is a good way to stay active during pregnancy. For individuals with multiple sclerosis, an elevation of body temperature can temporarily produce a flare of symptoms. Pool exercise is therefore a good choice for individuals with multiple sclerosis.

Finally, pool activities are a good way to cross-train and add variety to an exercise regimen. Exercise in the pool can be separated into those activities performed horizontally, such as swimming, and those performed vertically, such as walking in the water. Both forms of exercise in the pool (swimming and vertical movements) have health benefits, and they train muscles differently. Group aquatic classes are available and can be a fun and social way to be more physically active. These classes may make use of paddles or other devices to add resistance and increase intensity, allowing for muscle toning in addition to cardiovascular training.

Check out the following links for more information about swimming and aqua aerobics:

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