Water aerobics is a type of activity where aerobic exercises are performed in the pool. It is often referred to as aqua aerobics, and is offered as a popular class at many gyms and community centers. Aerobic activities in general can encourage weight loss, increase strength, increase the endurance of the heart and lungs, and decrease the risk of heart disease, among many other benefits.
Though swimming is a type of aerobic activity, it is generally not placed into the category of water aerobics. Instead, water aerobics consists of a number of different activities, performed both standing in place, and moving back and forth across the pool. Some of these may include water jogging or water walking, jumping jacks, knee raises, arm circles, and other types of simple aerobic activities.
In addition, water aerobics often incorporates weight training, because the natural resistance provided by the water is an excellent way to build muscular strength. Through the use of special water weights, exercisers are able to lift weights and get stronger without having to get out of the pool. The side of the pool is used as an exercise tool as well, in different ways.
Sometimes people exercising in the water will use the side of the pool as a type of pull-up or chin-up bar, raising themselves with both arms or just one arm. Additionally, it is possible to place one's feet against the side of the pool and attempt to do a type of modified sit-up by floating on top of the water. With or without the use of equipment, water aerobics can be an excellent way to get in shape as well as a great low-impact activity.
For that reason, water aerobics and other gentle water exercises are often used in injury rehabilitation. There are some important considerations to keep in mind when exercising in water. It is important to stay hydrated, because even in water, the body loses a lot of moisture through sweating. It is also important to do some warm-ups in the water before jumping right into an exercise routine, and to cool down with some stretching after exercising. There are many classes offered in aqua aerobics, and it may be a good idea to give them a try before signing up for a whole set; it is also possible to simply create one's own water aerobics program.