Water exercise originated at least 2000 years ago and way back in the 18th century, spa therapy was considered both fashionable and beneficial. ‘Taking the cure’ (as it was known) was well documented and research today confirms that immersion in mineral or salt water continues to be beneficial.
Early in the last century ‘rest’ was considered the best option following injury or damage to the body. This has changed over the years and therapists recommend the benefits of exercising the whole body to promote healing in a specific area using hydrotherapy. It has also been found that water has a calming effect on the mind as well as being a stimulating influence!
Back in the 80’s – the ‘Jane Fonda Era’ – was the time when fitness instructors working in hot climates, first opted to take their classes into water. Physiologists also suggested swimming as an option for deconditioned people and for non-swimmers, water exercises were found to be more suitable.
Today water exercise – AquaFit Classes – can be extremely challenging using the properties of water such as inertia, leverage, resistance, drag and buoyancy with uplifting music. The majority of participants attend Aqua classes for fun, stress relief, weight control and sociability. For many, aqua classes are beneficial if they are unable to work in a gravitational environment (ie land based classes) and find that the reduced impact on the body when immersed in water makes exercising so much easier. Unfortunately there is sometimes a perception that people tend to be less fit to participate in water classes but this simply isn’t the case! Aqua classes actually provide a hard workout if that’s what your’re looking for. Everyone is at liberty to work at their own pace in an aqua class.
A water workout is possibly the only exercise which certain groups of people are able to participate in. For instance, those with arthritis, back rehabilitation, post surgery and seniors. Having said that, you are just as likely to find elite swimming squads, triathletes, football teams and regular gym-goers using water to train in.
Physiotherapists have long since used water to rehabilite athletes and coaches regularly immerse their team players in water for recovery sessions – the benefits are endless. Water exercise has been proven to maintain CV fitness, improve muscular endurance and increase flexibility.
At Altered Images we have a selection of aqua classes on our timetable with different instructors so all the sessions will be a little bit different in style and content. Why not check out the times and find one to suit you?
If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read our previous post on Getting Started.
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