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Water Aerobic Exercises: Getting Your Workout on Mermaid Style

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 4/29/2009

Running, walking, cycling and other types of exercises can wear and tear bones, joints and muscles. With water aerobics, many exercisers are turning to this type of workout to reap the benefits that being 80% lighter have to offer.

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    Benefits of Water Aerobics

    As an exerciser, you may have pondered adding water aerobics into a weekly routine. There are several benefits such as working out while having low impact to your joints, muscles and bones. You can do this with friends, or attend classes at local recreational centers. Water aerobic exercises are proven to be beneficial to those with arthritis, injuries, and polio to name a few.

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    Stretching and Warm Up

    Just like any other exercise, it is important to stretch before the routine. This can be done by extending each leg alternately to the side, feeling the stretch through the toes. As a warm up, jog in place for 30 seconds, jumping jacks for 30 seconds, and knee tucks for 30 seconds. Repeat this three times. This will jump start your heart rate and set you up for a energized blood pumping workout.

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    Arms

    To get the most out of your water aerobic exercises, purchase a set of water dumbbells. As oppose to lifting up and down, water dumbbells are pushed down and up. To tone arms, with a water dumbbell in each hand, start out in a ninety degree angle then extend downward. Push the dumbbells down to your hips, and then up again. Do three sets of ten, pausing 30 seconds between repetitions. Next, spread your arms out like a bear hug and lower the water dumbbells to your sides. You will follow the same repetition routine as you did for the first arm exercise. The following exercise is considered to be the most labor intensive for your arms. Underwater, with the dumbbells, make small circles, rotating your arms wide open for 30 seconds. Then, make the circle a little larger and do this for 30 seconds. Finish up with even larger circles for another 30 seconds. If ever you feel that you are starting to cramp, or that you need to lower your impact, you may instead start out with just 15 repetitions, or 15 seconds depending on the routine.

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    Water Cycling

    The next exercise for water aerobics is called the bicycle. This will require a water noodle, and if you do not have one, they cost about $5 at your local outdoor equipment store. Sit on the noodle like a bicycle, and pedal your feet all the way to the end of the pool. Turn around and come back. For beginners, one lap back and forth is more than enough intensity. As you progress, try two laps and eventually three. After you finish the workout of your choice in the water, make sure to stretch just the same as you did in the beginning.

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    Cool Down

    A "cool down" is necessary in all forms of workouts, as you do not want to pull a muscle, or have a muscle cramp in the water. It is most common to hold on to the side of the pool and extend your legs back, alternating one at a time. You may also use your noodle to hold on to while you grab your foot from behind your body, stretching the hip area.

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    Water Aerobics Exercises: Freestyle

    If you are not the type of person who enjoys organized fitness routines, feel free to just jump up and down in the water, walk to the end of the pool and back or just prance around for thirty minutes! Whatever you decide to do, exercising in the water will prove to be a beneficial form of exercise.