Aquarobics may also be called aqua aerobics or water aerobics. It is essentially comparable to an aerobics class set in a gym, but instead takes place in a pool. Some aquarobics classes are well suited to even non-swimmers, while others include some portions of lap swimming.
The principles behind aquarobics are two-fold. Traditional aerobics classes cause significant stress to the body because the feet are landing on hard wood, or worse, concrete floors. Aquarobics, because it takes place in water, means less impact to the bones and joints. Additionally, aquarobics is a bit more work for the body because one has to move one’s body through the resistance of water, which burns more calories, more quickly. A thirty-minute jog on land will burn about 240 calories, while the same jog in the water will burn about 100 calories more.
Aquarobics is often part of an exercise regimen for those who have sustained injury to the bones or joints, but in order to get the full benefit of such exercise, it needs to be practiced in waist to shoulder deep water. The farther one’s upper body is from the water, the less impact reduction will be accomplished. Aquarobics practiced in water at least waist or chest deep will significantly reduce impact on the legs, reducing some of the unwanted side-effects of regular aerobics classes like shin splints. However, deeper water also requires harder work to move one’s body through water resistance.
One disadvantage of aquarobics is that the instructor has a less clear vision of what the student’s arms and legs are doing, especially if the instructor is teaching the class while standing outside the pool. Incorrect positioning may make the exercise less effective, because the instructor cannot walk around the student and correct him or her.
Aside from this disadvantage, aquarobics is a great way to pursue fitness goals and utilizes very similar movements to traditional aerobics classes. If one is familiar with regular aerobics, aquarobics should not be too difficult to master. Instructors can often modify classes for beginners or for those with injuries, so that initial workouts are not too difficult.
There are a few precautions one should take before jumping into the pool for a first class. If the pool is outdoors, using sunscreen is advised. Find an extreme sport, waterproof sunscreen, as one will require sunscreen that won’t wash off when exposed to water or sweat. One should also check with a doctor before beginning any type of exercise regimen, particularly after injury, surgery, or illness.
As well, it is prudent to choose a class at the beginner’s level or that welcomes students of all fitness levels. A class that is too hard may be discouraging to newcomers. One may also want to check whether the aquarobics class requires swimming in deep water. If one is not a good swimmer, find a class that does not have this requirement.