” I’ve always loved the water. I always make sure that I take two back to back aerobic exercise classes for my general work out and arthritis every time I hit the water. When I step out, I feel so darn good.”
These are words from a 72-year-old Patti Bernstein, currently taking her water aerobics classes at Vanderbilt YMCA based in Manhattan. Evidently, water aerobics has massive followers, majorly baby boomers who still want to keep fit by doing justice to their aging bodies.
However, current trends tend to differ as people from all ages and walks of life are prescribing to this low-intensity work out regime, a reason why it has gained that much popularity. In his column, Michael Popke describes it as an effective regime in hastening the healing of injuries,
Julie See, the director of the Aquatic Exercise Association, lays bare the earth-shattering numbers. She indicates that arthritis and other forms of aquatic exercises are currently happening in around 20,000 pools, and the numbers could spike up.
Going by such figures, it’s only valid to say that its popularity is about to shatter the ceiling. According to See, aqua aerobics isn’t limited as it was years back.
The proliferation of individual pools has boosted such programs for both young and old. Basically, anywhere there’s a pool, classes are being offered, be it in hotels, gated communities or parks, and camping grounds.
Disadvantages of Water Aerobics
In as much as water aerobics has gained popularity, there exists an underside to it. This article delves into the deep to bring forth the downside of such aerobic exercises. Read on.
A Lack of Uniformity
Not all pools are created equally based on a person’s tolerance to the existing chemicals. Some of the conditions exhibited by people with an adverse chemical reaction such as chlorine include itchy skin and eyes, and in some rare cases, respiratory irritations.
However, such adverse cases can be arrested by taking a shower immediately afterward. In cases where one has a severe reaction, it’s advisable not to enter the pull at all. Such limitations seem to lock out a group of people who would otherwise have loved to take part.
Burns Fewer Calories
According to Harvard Health Publication, water aerobics burns less than 200 calories during a 30-minute workout. Coincidentally, riding a bicycle for the same amount of time burns more than 400 calories.
For those engaging in low impact stepping aqua aerobics, they usually shed off around 300 calories. From the results, it’s evident that water aerobics isn’t the way to go if one’s intention is to shed off extra weight.
Proliferation of Diseases
The exposure to gases from treated swimming pools is yet another factor that may increase or lead to the rise of respiratory ailments such as asthma. When chlorine, used to kill harmful bacteria in water, comes into contact with sweat and urine, halogenated hydrocarbons get released into the air.
A 2001 study conducted in Heartland Hospital in Birmingham found out that Nitrogen trichloride and chloramines reduced people’s lung capacity, therefore, affecting pool employees. Another study still found out the prevalence of asthma and other respiratory diseases among swimmers.
Though water provides resistance and can aid with strength, its not advisable to use aqua aerobics for toning or building muscles. By using free weights, you not only burn calories but build up your muscles, which can really help replace the muscles lost due to aging. It is recommended that weight lifting be done 2-3 times in a week or add more successive weights during your water aerobics session.
There exist several conditions that may limit the use of water aerobics. For those with back problems, water-based exercise should only take place under the supervision of a qualified health professional. Other conditions that may warrant the avoidance of water-based activities include infection, incontinence, fever, and heart failure.
Water temperature may come across as being too warm to accommodate some of these conditions. Its typically done in waters averaging 90-94 degrees Fahrenheit, aimed at increasing blood circulation.
Patients with such conditions, as earlier mentioned, should stay away from water-based therapy exercises or ensure that the pool is a bit cooler so that their circumstances don’t get worse.
Lack of Swimming pools
As people are getting into this new fad, there still exists a lack of penetration due to the non-existence of pools to carry out the activity. A vast majority of areas have been covered by pools, but a lot still needs to be done in terms of creating awareness and coming up with additional pools to cater to the increasing demands.
Getting a pool that is friendly to people suffering from arthritis or joint problem is even harder. It helps if the pool has an easier in and out access. Scaling the ladder poses a huge challenge to some old folks who would love to take part in such an activity. Notwithstanding, water aerobics is becoming popular among older people.
Other minor downsides to aqua aerobics include the temptation to cheat by using buoyancy to one’s advantage, and the risk of drowning is higher for non–swimmers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are just some of the frequently asked questions concerning water aerobics.
Can one tone up with water aerobics?
Working out in water means your muscles have to work harder due to the water resistance. It, therefore, means you burn fat faster compared to land-based exercises. Your heart works hard hence upping your heart rate, burning more calories
Can one shed off weight with aqua aerobics?
It’s possible to shed off weight through aqua aerobics. According to the Aquatic Exercise Association, one can lose between 400-500 calories in a single hour. You can use their unique calculator to see how much calories you can burn and the resulting weight loss from pool workouts.
What’s the recommended Frequency a week for water aerobics?
It’s generally advised that one exercises 3-5 times a week. Some fall between 5-7 days a week, but it’s recommended that you take a day off to rest once every week.
What should I eat before aqua aerobics?
Wholemeal foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as pasta, brown bread, and brown rice should be consumed since they slowly release the energy needed during workouts. Such diets will keep you energized during your workout regimen.
Do you require shoes for water aerobics?
It highly depends on the type of work out you are going for. It’s essential to invest in solid water shoes with foam padding and rubber soles to aid you in intense or strenuous workout.