After aqua jogging and walking, aqua kickboxing and yoga are the new fitness buzzwords.
Once used as a rehabilitative regimen for those with physical ailments, underwater exercises are now becoming popular all over the world. The buoyant effect of the water takes the pressure off the joints, alleviating pain and discomfort. The benefits include fat and inch loss, working towards getting a healthy back, building strength and stamina, flexibility in knees, neck, spine, ankles, hips, improved balance, posture and body coordination.
Aqua cycling or underwater spinning studios are making a huge splash in the West. Back home too, a few have sprung up. The stationary bikes are placed in a pool and you have to combat the water’s resistance and pedal faster, which works your muscles. Says anchor Kamal Sidhu, “It’s a novel idea to work out and build better body endurance.” The workout is said to fight cellulite, alleviate back pain without leaving your body sore the next day.
Says trainer Deanne Panday, “Water cycling can actually give you a mas sage, as the water hits the fat deposits on the muscles in the leg and thigh.
This helps move the lymphatic system and drains it, eliminating toxins faster. It’s great for obese persons who can’t run or do as much on a treadmill.”
HIT IN WATER
HIT (high intensity interval training) has shifted from gyms to pools now! The high speed bursts of activity in water are becoming popular as it breaks the plateau in your workout regimen. Aqua specialist Deepali Jain says, “For example, you do two minutes of high-speed running, followed by one minute of gentle treading in water, for recovery. Initially, you can’t last for more than five minutes, but you slowly build up to 20-30 minutes. “The corporate crowd is opting for it a lot. It’s super effective as you burn over 100 calories in an hour (more than what you might do in a whole hour of gymming).” Those with higher weight and suffering from heart problems must get a certificate from a doctor before trying it though.
This one lets you throw punches in the water. Cross punches, uppercuts and hooks in the water help strengthen the muscles and make the body agile. The gentle rhythm of the movement encourages neuro-muscular coordination, which prevent Alzheimer’s.
This workout takes the principles of yoga, asanas etc and adapts them to water. Practitioners maintain that the aqua environment allows you to experience waves, rolls, twists and other postures that you may not be able to achieve on land. The water allows an optimum stretch, relieving muscular tension.