How Aqua Aerobics Can Help Prevent Injuries
One of the guys in my running group first told me about aqua aerobics. He said he used it for cross-training, and had first run across water exercises when he got plantar fasciitis and couldn’t run for a while. I was trying to run more, and was feeling it in my knees, so I decided to add in some aqua workouts for cross training. Boy, was I glad I did that!
The effect of low impact. I did the first basic class to see what it was all about, and I could tell very quickly how much the water had an effect. The instructor told us that because of the buoyancy of the water, we were only having to support 50 percent of our body weight. I could tell when she had us do lunges. When I do those on land, my knees always protest a little bit. But in the water, the impact of the foot plant was so gentle that it was hardly noticeable. She had us jog in place for a few minutes, and it really got my heart rate up, but once again, the impact was so gentle it was very apparent – especially in contrast to the pounding on my joints from the running trail.
Aqua jogging for cardio. I wanted to focus on keeping my wind, so I went to the pool when the lap lanes were open to try jogging in the water. I wore old tennis shoes, as suggested by the other runner, to keep the rough surface on the bottom from scuffing my feet. I was comfortable running a couple of miles on the trail at that point, so I thought I’d knock off a mile or two in the water. I had to revise my goal downward. I hadn’t taken into account the resistance of the water – it was substantial. I was in chest deep water, and had to lean like I was sprinting to keep moving. I was winded after 25 laps, and felt like I’d had a great workout. But the thing I hadn’t expected was how peaceful the water would make me – the soothing feel of the water really added something to the workout.
A variety of options. My local gym has classes available for aqua exercise that cover a wide range – there are classes for yoga, tai chi, weight work, kick boxing and Zumba. I wasn’t ready for the sexy moves of Zumba, so I tried kick boxing. I figured it would be a great cardio workout, with some arm and leg work. Have you ever tried to kick something while you’re in the water? Talk about putting a burn on your thighs. Cardio – oh yes, it was awesome for that. I was breathing really hard after about 10 minutes, and except for a couple of short breaks, the sweet little trainer had us working hard the whole hour. Of course, she looked like she could work out all day.
I’m sold on aqua aerobics. To give my sore knees a rest from running, and to add cross-training elements to my weekly workouts – I feel like I just found a valuable training option.
About the Author
Kaitlin Gardner currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking , hand with her family and friend and enjoy nature.