water aerobics
Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Advantages of Aquagym

Did you know? Aquagym is gentle aerobic exercise in water that tones the body. Most anyone can do this activity because it’s easy. Even seniors can practise this water workout in complete safety. It strengthens the entire body and helps keep joints flexible.

People who have lost some mobility are particularly suited to aquagym, also called water aerobics, aquarobics, aquatic fitness, aquafitness, and aquafit. The body weighs less in water so movements are easier to do than on land but remain effective. The water also helps cushion movements and eliminate harsh impacts and falls, and protects against the risk of injury. Few medical conditions prevent people from taking part in this activity, apart from chlorine allergies, respiratory failure, and a few rare disorders. 

The advantages

Aquagym is especially beneficial for people who want to remain fit while minimizing common age-related conditions:

  • It helps keep joints flexible and strong, and reduces osteoarthritis flare-ups. It is helps to prevent osteoporosis.
  • It helps build muscle. The natural resistance of the water works muscles more deeply and fully because opposing muscle groups are exercised during each push and pull movement, while protecting against injury. It also works all the muscles of the body.
  • It’s fun and unrestrictive, helping reduce stress and anxiety. Since it’s usually performed in a group, it keeps people – especially seniors – from becoming isolated and lonely, and it promotes cheerfulness. The soothing contact of water on the skin is also relaxing.
  • It improves blood circulation. The pressure of the water on the body acts like a massage. This massage action drains the lymphatic system.
  • It’s good for the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Like exercise in general, it increases the heart rate, which can strengthen that muscle in the long run.
  • It relieves certain conditions related to aging, such as rheumatism, joint issues, and lower back pain, and helps boost metabolism and strength. It also slows down the loss of muscle mass and increases reaction time that typically decreases with age.
  • It increases overall flexibility.

Basically, aquagym works all the muscles in the body. An effective class should last at least 45 minutes. It consists of a warm-up period to increase the heart rate and blood flow, allowing more oxygen to reach the muscles. A series of varied and increasingly intense exercises follow, to work different muscle groups in the upper body (chest, shoulders, arms, and back), core (abdominals and lower back), and legs (thighs and calves). The last five minutes of the session are devoted to cooling down after the exercise, decreasing the intensity of the workout and stretching. That helps gradually reduce the heart rate, and gentle stretching strengthens the muscles while the body returns to a resting state.

No swimming skills are needed. So take the plunge and try it!

For more, check out The Good Times previous article on the benefits of aquagym.

Featured image: Aquagym (public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

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