Aquatic fitness is a full-body workout. It is fantastic for individuals who are recovering from an injury because it strengthens muscles without being stressful on the joints. Aqua fitness is also beneficial in improving cardiovascular health and aerobic endurance.
Aqua fitness or therapy is also widely used to treat many medical conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, muscles and ligament sprains, and back pain. It is beneficial as a treatment for the aliments because it is low impact for joints, but helps to strengthen muscles. Water reduces hydrostatic pressure which helps to reduce inflammation and swelling in the joints, and will make exercise less painful and much easier for those suffering from these painful conditions.
Aquatic fitness equipment is used to make an in-water workout more productive for the body. There are a few types of aquatic fitness equipment that can be used in the water for resistance and buoyancy.
- Aqua fitness dumbbells are used to assist in providing water resistance to help tone muscles and build upper body strength.
- Aquatic fitness gloves can help to improve strength and muscle tone while in the water. These gloves will increase water resistance to enhance endurance and muscle tone.
- Resistive paddles are used in strengthening exercises for arms and shoulders. These paddles have fan blades that are adjustable to vary resistance.
- Jogging shoes are light, non-slip shoes which offer a slight buoyancy to make it easier to maintain a jogging motion in the water. Aqua jogging is an extremely effective way to get into shape, and it is low impact on the body.
- The aqua fitness jog belt (floatation belt) is used to provide stability during aqua exercises and assist in stability. The jog belt can also assist to tone abdominal muscles and boost arm strength.
- Buoyancy cuffs are worn on the ankles to increase the lower body workout. It makes it more difficult to keep feet anchored underneath the body.
- Water treadmills, stair steppers, aqua bikes, and aqua ellipticals are generally only available for therapy in rehabilitation facilities. As with aqua jogging, they offer a very low-impact yet effective way to get into shape and recover from injury.
Resistance equipment is used to enhance the natural resistance found when participating in aqua fitness activities. This increased resistance is used to build strength and tone muscles. Buoyancy equipment is used to assist with balancing the body, especially in deeper waters. Using the right amount of buoyancy is very important for comfort and performance. If too much buoyancy is used it will throw the body off balance in the water, and it can aggravate any existing injuries and is not beneficial for the workout.