Reap the benefits of aquatic exercise

If swimming lap after lap seems daunting and boring to you, then try water aerobics/aquatic fitness. You can do a multitude of things in the water, other than lap swimming, to get in shape and stay in shape. It is an excellent way to get fit and stay fit.

Here's why:

  • There are many benefits to aquatic exercise, and you don't have to be an Olympic swimmer to reap them. Aquatic exercise is a perfect way to exercise for people of all ages and physical ability.
  • The best part is you can work at your own pace.
  • Water aerobics and exercises are also a great way to cross train and diversify your workout.
  • Because aquatic exercise is a low-impact exercise, it is great for people suffering from joint problems or issues with weight. It is a total body workout and a fast way to improve general strength, stamina and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Cardiovascular benefits include the strengthening of the heart muscles and improvement of oxygen delivery to muscles.
  • As a regular physical activity, aquatic exercise can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • The pressure provided by the water helps to stimulate circulation and also provides additional resistance to train against.
  • Swimming provides effective weight management. Depending on your weight, if you weigh between 100 to 200 pounds, you could burn an average of 250 to 520 calories in half an hour of swimming.
  • Water Aerobics or aquatic fitness (exercises performed in a vertical position in either shallow or deep water), can burn between 400 to 500 calories in one hour.

Check with your doctor before starting

Check with your doctor before starting an exercise regime, especially if you have any health concerns.

You will find all the information you need to develop an aquatic plan of attack listed below.

Let's get started!

Heart Rate
To get the maximum benefits from your aquatic exercise you want to workout in your Target Heart Rate Zone.

Subtract your age from 220
Then subtract your Resting Heart Rate
Multiply this number by .6
Then add your Resting Heart Rate
This gives you the lower limit of your Target heart Rate
Multiply the result from step 2 by .8
Add your Resting Heart Rate
This is the upper limit of your Target Heart Rate
Maintain your heart rate between the lower and upper limit of your Target Heart Rate.
Don't forget to always drink plenty of water!

Fitness Swimming
If you're not sure what level to start at, complete the Copper 12-minute Swim Test (see step 5 below). Once you're done you'll have a better idea of what level workouts to start on;

Fitness Category I, II, III = Beginner workouts
Fitness Category IV = Intermediate workouts
Fitness Category V = Advanced workouts.

After you've decided what level you will workout at, you should complete each workout three times before moving on to the next workout.

To track your progress, repeat the swim test periodically. Your laps finished per 12 minutes should increase to show improvement.