Water is a heat robber. If you’re not moving at a high enough rate to generate your own heat, water will bring your body temperature down to its level. So instead of a cool-down at the end of a water fitness workout, do a “warm-down.” The idea is to continue moving in order to generate heat, maintain comfort and avoid the “big chill.”
The unique properties of water (buoyancy and resistance) provide a safe and effective modality for both relaxation and vigorous exercise, yet the health benefits of water workouts are not widely known. Current public health trends—especially rising rates of obesity, coupled with an aging population, associated chronic conditions and rising healthcare costs—are a call to new action for both treatment and prevention.
BY SHIRLEY ARCHER, JD, MA
Building a successful aquatic fitness pro-
Develop a Successful Wa t e r Fitness P ro g r a m
With proper planning, you can build a profitable aquatic fitness program even if you've never taught a water class and don't have a pool!
gram involves much more than simply putting water classes on a schedule. From coordinating use of the pool to budgeting to hiring qu...
Aquatic exercise is a great way to get and stay in shape. In addition to being a fantastic cross-training option and full- body workout, exercising in the pool helps the body stay balanced. A water workout might not be the first thing your class participants think of when they’re looking to shape up and slim down—but perhaps it should be. Water fitness burns calories, boosts metabolism and strengthens muscles without putting extra stress on joints.
Many people exercise in the water because of its low-impact nature. According to research presented in October at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, water exercise may provide similar cardiovascular benefits to land-based workouts.
Do your water fitness participants need a change? Mix up your normal routine with a jogging class. Take away the choreography and focus on speed or power intervals. Teach this class in a mixture of shallow and deep water. Modify as needed for participant ability or available pool depth. To encourage people to move mindfully, emphasize the following points:
If your current water warm-up is lacking excitement, it’s time to add some variety. An effective warm-up is light-to-moderate intensity, moves through all three planes of motion and focuses on large muscle movements. This prepares the body for higher intensity by raising the heart rate and core body temperature.
Love to teach water fitness programs? Circuits are fun, they provide variety, and you can make them sport-specific to the older golfer, tennis player or runner. The following class gives you a glimpse into the many pool variations you can offer your senior fitness participants.
Water fitness classes have grown in popularity and creativity over the past 20 years. What started off as something more or less for older, less fit women has developed into a recognized form of fitness training for the superfit exerciser, the athlete recovering from injury, the older adult with a chronic condition or the person who simply enjoys how forgiving the water environment can be to joints. The pool is also a terrific environment for circuit and interval classes.