By – Kavita Shyam
Are you bored of your usual, traditional exercise regimes or trudging on the treadmill? And craving for an hourglass e figure but with a different form to experiment with? Chuck the passé ideas of jogging, gym, yoga, dances and embrace fun workouts which will help you shed weight in no time. Throw in a fine diet and consult your physician before you take up aqua exercise to be on the safer side. An intense aqua aerobics comprises of rhythmic synchronized hand and foot movements under chest-deep water, light stretch ups and warm ups accompanied with many floatation devices such as paddles, flotation belts, light aqua dumbbells, tubing noodles, kickboards. Aqua exercise is great calorie burner, total body work out and muscle toning workout.
Aqua Aerobics or Aqua Zumba
Every loves the water! Shed your flab, improve your heart and lung, aid digestion, blood circulation, alleviate stress and strengthen all major muscles with aqua aerobics. This is an intense workout, aqua aerobics is rhythmic coordinated hand and foot movements done under chest-deep water. One can have tremendous fun with the addition of paddles and kickboards in tow.
Zumba master trainer Sucheta Pal says, “Aqua Zumba is famously called the fitness pool party, it fuses zumba and the principles of water aerobics to create one hour of calorie burning madness in the pool. You get a complete body workout in half the time with aqua zumba as one works both against gravity and buoyancy of water. It works on your aerobic endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and joint mobility all at the same time. The movements of the zumba dance rhythms like salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggae ton, flamenco, tango, belly dance are adapted to be done in water. Working constantly against the resistance of water and gravity, increases fat-free mass and burns loads of calories. You are hereafter blessed with increased metabolic rate, increased lung capacity, stabilize blood pressure, decreased insomnia.”
Says Shalini, “One can burn more calories with aqua zumba and aqua aerobics, as compared to other zumba. Zumba under water, is where you push and make efforts to exercise, you dance with the volume of water, its shows your resistance against water”.
Water based exercises are even fine for people suffering from arthritis, back problems, osteoporosis and minor aches and pains can work-out comfortably in water. Even helpful for polio rehab, hypertensive and cardiac patients, besides stimulates the nervous system, blood circulation, the digestive system, aids in sleep and relieves stress.
These exercises improve heart and lung conditioning, strengthen all muscles and improve posture.
These exercises help strengthen muscles, tone the abdomen, shoulders, arms and thighs and even improve cardio-respiratory functions. The aqua exercises can also include kicking, jogging, walking, stretching and even yoga, power yoga, breathing exercises, Pilates and kick boxing.
Below are the basic exercises that one can do when under water to tone up in a few easy steps.
Leg raise: Stay in water and rest both hands on the pool deck. Hold your feet flat in the water and keep your legs together. Slowly raise the outer leg as high as possible. Hold for 5 counts and repeat this 10 times, resulting in toning the waist, abdomen and thighs.
Squats: Stand with feet apart in shallow water until chest or waist. Keep your arms bent at the sides with palms facing up. Slowly bend your knees in a squat position. Make sure that your knees are not extending beyond the toes. Keep your back erect and the abs pulled in. Exhale and stand up. Repeat 8 to 10 times, resulting in toning hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes.
Kicks: Go to the edge of the pool, get into a sitting position and place your hands on the deck. Draw knees to the chest. Keeping your toes pointed, extend legs. Exhale slowly, hold for 10 counts and return knees to chest. Repeat 5 to 6 times, resulting in firm abdomen, butt and thighs.
Arm exercises: Use light aqua dumbbells for bicep curls. Stand with your feet firm in waist deep water. Keep your elbows at your sides or on the railing. Raise one dumbbell and rotate your forearm so that the palm faces the shoulder. Slowly lower and repeat 10 to 12 times for both the arms
Cycle: Rest your back against the wall of the pool with your elbows resting on the edge. Lift your legs up and do cycling motions and count till 25-30. Relax and repeat for another set, resulting in toned abdomen.
Triceps: Stand firmly in waist deep water. Hold the dumbbells in your right hand and slowly raise the hand over the head. Make sure that your elbows are placed close to your ears. Slowly bend and straighten your arms. Repeat 10 to 12 times for both the arms.
So whether you are a water baby or not, embrace these aqua exercises and say hello to a new you!