One of the ideal ways to stay in shape and keep fit is through aquatic exercise. Exercising in the water is a great way to add resistance without the drawbacks of impact, and also to raise a heart rate for aerobic exercise, again without the resulting impacts that can be jarring and damaging to already fragile bones and ligaments. For this reason, water aerobics are ideal for those who may not be able to participate in more strenuous land based exercises with the resulting impacts, such as those who are in rehabilitation, pregnant women, and the elderly.
Being elderly often comes with several ailments of the bones and other bodily structures which can make exercise into an even more painful prospect than it usually is. The jarring impact of the ground on feet even through shoes can make jogging for those afflicted with arthritis or osteoporosis an impossibility, but it is crucial that exercise in the later stages of life be maintained. In fact, this might be the most important time of all to stay fit. Fit bodies are proven to be able to recover faster and also suffer less damage than bodies which are slow to respond due to being out of shape.
There are a variety of ways for elderly people to participate in water exercises which are just as beneficial as land exercises but eliminate the negative effects of impact. Most local swimming pools offer comprehensive aerobics workouts at several different levels depending on the requirements and abilities of the participants- remember, aerobics exercise does not mean that you have to be able to swim. Most of these exercises take place in the shallow ends of the water, and the idea is simply to get your body moving without straining against hard surfaces.
Water aerobics may use pool equipment for some basic exercises, but may rely on only the movement of the body. As with regular exercise, it is important to remember to stretch out before participating in water aerobics, your instructor will be bale to help you with some basic, easy stretches that will get your muscles warmed up and help to burn calories at maximum efficiency. These workouts should also include a warm up and a cool down, and a good workout that will burn around 300 calories should last for about 30 minutes.
The middle part of the workout, where you will burn the most calories, should be the most intense portion. How intense is up to the individual, and the exercises here may involve running or walking on the spot, kicking the legs with or without flotation devices, and even a limited use of weights, either free weights or ones that can be attached to your body.
Water exercises have been popular now for more than two decades, and are possibly the most ideal aerobics workout for those who need to maintain a minimal impact, healthy lifestyle. Water aerobics classes are also great opportunities to socialize.
About the Author
Dexter Stoakley maintains a website focusing on exercise for the elderly.
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