So today I am hosting my first guest post, aqua aerobics for beginners. I have focused on weight loss for a while now and I’m trying to find ways to improve my fitness and general well being too so when Kaitlin from AnApplePerDay approached me I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to find out more. So I will now hand you over to the wonderful Kaitlin…
Aqua Aerobics Exercises for Beginners
Perhaps the greatest thing about aqua aerobics is that once you have a pool to access and comfortable clothing to wear, there is nothing stopping you from getting started. In fact, you don’t even need any fancy equipment. Later, you may want to invest in some inexpensive items that will add more challenge to your routine, but for now, the name of the aqua aerobics game is to simply get in the pool and move!
But First, the Benefits
Let me take a minute to explain how aqua aerobics actually works: Just like on land, when you move around continuously, for any length of time, your heart is going to pump faster (work harder). As the muscles of your body call for more oxygen and blood, your lungs and heart step up their game. So just like walking or running a lap around a track, walking around your pool is working your muscles (including your heart and lungs) and improving your overall cardio performance, but with a twist: the natural resistance that water provides means that your muscles are working even harder than if you were walking on land! The even better news? Moving around in the water, which is what aqua aerobics essentially is, does not deliver the impact to your joints that exercising on land delivers. In fact, it is extremely low-impact and often used for rehabilitation following injury, surgery or to keep patients suffering from a progressive disease, like multiple sclerosis, as strong as they can for as long as they can. After you’ve mastered the basics, check out these sites for even more aqua aerobics ideas:
Getting Started in the Pool
Wear comfortable swim attire that won’t need constant adjusting or monitoring. If you prefer not to get your hair wet, an inexpensive swim cap can be found at just about any drugstore in the summer months. In the off-season, go online to a swim supply site for plenty of choices.
Below are a few simple moves for your large muscle groups that will help you get acquainted with the way your body responds to being in the water. Don’t worry if you have a hard time remaining balanced at first; this will improve quickly over time. Here we go:
1. Leg lifts: This move strengthens the core muscles of your abdomen and lower back. Stand with your back against the side of the pool, in chest-deep water. Place your arms out to your sides on the pool deck (shoulder height). With your feet together, tighten your core muscles and lift your legs while keeping your lower back as close to the wall as possible. Try to bring your toes up the surface of the water, so that your legs are at a 90-degree angle to the pool wall. Lower legs. Do three sets of twelve lifts.
2. Arm circles: Standing in neck-deep water, or squatting in shallower water if you need to, raise both arms out to the sides of your body and begin doing small arm circles in a counter-clockwise direction. After 30 seconds, reverse direction. Then, do a set of larger circles, again for 30 seconds in each direction. Rest and repeat each set two more times.
3. Squats: To work the glutes, quads and hamstrings (buttocks, large front and back leg muscles) stand in waist-deep water with feet shoulder distance apart. With your arms straight out in front of you, bend your knees and slowly lower yourself down into the water until it is neck deep and then back up to the start position. Do three sets of twelve.
Adjust any of these exercises as you need to. Remember, don’t overdo it and be sure to check with a doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.
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