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Working out in Water, By Reema Sarin, Founder BOLLYFIT

How is it done?

Working out in water, more popularly known as Water Aerobics is a non-impact workout that can be performed at any fitness level. Whether you are pregnant, have arthritis, are recovering from an injury, or searching for variety in your workout program, water exercise provides a safe and effective training environment.


A cardiovascular exercise plan incorporates full body movements to raise one’s heart rate, increase breathing rate and burn calories. A pool cardiovascular workout may take place in the shallow or deep water and should last for 30 to 45 minutes. In the shallow, one uses movements such as running, jumping jacks, hopping, leaping and walking to keep your heart rate elevated. In the deep, one needs to wear a belt that will keep you upright as you bike pedal, flutter kick and scissor kick your way to cardiovascular improvements.


One can also include strength training exercises in your water workouts. Water dumbbells are made to work against their buoyancy, strengthens your muscle tissue. Water paddles are also available that can be used to push through the resistance of the water for strengthening exercises. You can use similar land strength exercises such as arm curls, arm extensions and side bends in the water.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is a workout that alternates cardiovascular and strength-training exercises. One may use circuit training in a pool for an effective, full-body workout. If you prefer the deep water, a circuit can be performed in water over 6 1/2 feet deep. For a shallow-water workout, the water level should be between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 feet deep. You would also need access to a resistance tool, such as water dumbbells, water paddles or a swim noodle.

Combining one’s cardiovascular and strength training workouts can be an effective water circuit training program. Here, one needs to alternate a cardiovascular exercise, such as side leaps, with a strength training exercise, such as an arm curl. Ideally, one would need to perform each exercise for 1.5 to 2 minutes before switching to the next exercise, and then continue this pattern to complete the workout session.

Is it beneficial? How?

Yes, absolutely. Water Aerobics not only provides an excellent cardio workout, but also great body conditioning with least muscle wear and tear, as one is exercising in a low resistance medium – Water, while ensuring a high calorie and fat burn workout, leading to fantastic weight loss!

Water aerobic exercises are also extremely effective for toning up one’s body muscles, giving one a great linear and contoured look! These exercises are especially good for Abdominal and all our Leg and Thigh muscles.

Infact, Water therapy exercises are used to cure many ailments like relief of low back pain or neck pain. These exercises also serve to condition and strengthen muscles to help avoid future recurrences of back pain.

Water therapy exercise is especially helpful in cases where a land-based exercise program is not possible due to the intensity of pain, decreased bone density, disability or other factors. As such, water therapy is a versatile exercise and is particularly good for people with conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Advanced osteoporosis (with susceptibility to and/or pain from fracture)

  • Muscle strain or tears

In addition to those conditions, water therapy is frequently recommended as one form of exercise therapy to treat those with diabetes as well as individuals with high blood pressure. Both conditions can improve and become more manageable with aquatic exercise, since water provides a much gentler, welcoming environment. Water therapy may also be referred to as pool therapy, hydrotherapy, or aquatic therapy.

Who can do it? Age group?

Water aerobics and exercises can be done by almost all age – groups, the ideal being from 12 to 50 years of age for both male and female genders.

What are the points to be careful of when doing this - Dos and Don'ts

To get the maximum benefit from your Water Aerobic workout, some rules need to be adhered to, which include the following:

· Avoid taking heavy meals just before your work out as it would hamper a smooth workout and could cause cramps.

· It is important to breathe correctly and consistently throughout the workout – for e.g. whilst under water, you always have to blow out into the water.

· Good to wear well fitting but comfortable swimwear to allow easy and muscular movement

· Definitely need to use a sun block cream to protect oneself from getting burnt in the Sun, if exercising during the day in an open air pool.

· It is important to familiarize oneself with all the exercise gear that one needs to use during the workout, for e.g. water dumbbells, etc

· Last but not the least, stop all exercise immediately if you feel any physical discomfort, for e.g. difficulty in breathing, choking feeling, foot or any other muscle cramps.


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