Often times, water aerobics are assumed to be a workout for the elderly only. However, working out in water has many benefits, even for younger athletes. The reason water aerobics are so popular for the older population is because it is such a low-impact workout. The water takes weight off of your joints, and resistance against your movements.
Younger athletes that suffer from joint pain, arthritis, or are recovering from an injury or surgery may find that an in-water workout can replace, at least during rehabilitation, an intense, high-impact running regimen. This can be a great solution for staying in shape when you really shouldn’t be running.
Sometimes runners or other athletes are not comfortable with swimming. Water aerobics provides a way to work out in shallow water, and is not as monotonous as swimming laps.
Here are some exercises you can do in waist-to-chest deep water.
- Water running: Fairly self-explanatory, this involves running or jogging in the water, often across the short side of a pool. The water will provide resistance against your body and make this a great cardio and muscle-toning workout.
- Cross-Country Skiing: This exercise resembles the motions made while cross-country skiiing. Stand with one foot a step in front of you, and one foot a step behind you. Swing your arms opposite each other from front to back, while alternating your feet from front to back and vice versa. You can try to jump a little during the workout as well for added intensity.
- Knee-to-chest: Think of yourself as climbing very tall stairs, bringing one knee up to your chest, then the other. This can be done in place, or while walking across the pool as well.
These workouts are lower impact than running or even jogging, and can provide a great cardio and muscle-toning workout. Even when you can begin to run again, it may be worthwhile to practice a diverse exercise regimen, using the benefits of water aerobics now and again.