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About Aquatic Exercise Routines

written by: Angela Atkinson • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 8/9/2011

Are you looking for a fun new exercise program that is low impact but offers extreme results? If so, aquatic exercise may be exactly what you need. Learn what is involved in aquatic exercise, how much equipment you'll need to buy, and get ideas for beginning your own aquatic fitness routine.

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    Aquatic exercise is ideal for many people, including pregnant women and anyone who needs a lower-impact workout that offers maximum results. Aquatic exercise routines are done in a pool or other body of water and are generally similar to aerobics classes in that they often involve dance-like exercises that are often set to music, depending on the instructor.

    Almost anyone can participate in aquatic exercise classes because there is literally almost no impact on the joints during the routines.

    So, with a doctor’s clearance, even those with arthritis, obesity and other mobility limiting conditions may safely participate.

    Pregnant women can use aquatic exercises to stay in shape, while obese and overweight people can use it to help tone up. Since the water provides a significant amount of resistance, it’s a great way to strength train.

    And good news for non-swimmers—most aquatic exercise classes are held in shallow water so even they can participate.

    Plus, in only 45 minutes of intense and consistent aquatic exercise, you can burn up to 500 calories.

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    Aquatic Exercise Equipment

    Aside from the pool, not much equipment is required to perform aquatic exercise. Participants need to wear a bathing suit (and swim cap, if desired) and bring a towel. In organized classes, other components are generally provided by the instructor and may include things like water weights or paddle boards. Additional equipment may include water blocks, a floatation belt and pool shoes if desired.

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    Aquatic Exercise Routines

    If you aren’t interested in joining an aquatic exercise class, you can always work out on your own. Try one of the following exercise ideas to help you get started.

    Walk In Water

    The most simple and highly effective individual aquatic exercise routine is water walking. It is exactly what it sounds like—walking in the water (about chest deep) just as you would walk on land. Walk as briskly as possible and swing your arms. Doing this for a half hour can burn as much as 250 calories.

    Kick It Up

    Hold on to the side of the pool and let your feet float behind you. Flutter your feet as though you’re swimming. Keep the movements small. If you can, maintain this activity for up to fifteen minutes for maximum results. This activity works as a strength training exercise for your arms, but also offers aerobic benefits since you’re actively moving your legs.