Finding time to exercise each week can be a big challenge. With everything on your plate, getting to the gym for your 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and two sessions of strength exercise might convince you exercise isn't worth your time. Adding weights to your aerobic exercise routines helps shorten your time commitment and can help you get a body you love.
Water aerobics applies a muscle resistance component because of the water pressure on your body. You can increase the muscle-strengthening component by adding ankle and wrist or hand-held weights to your water aerobics exercises or use the weights when walking in chest-deep water. The buoyancy of the water lets you experience a no-impact workout, which benefits you at any size, shape or fitness level. Exercising in water also keeps you cool during your workout session.
Moving Your Feet
Whether you walk, jog or sprint, hand-held weights or a weighted jacket adds strengthening to your aerobics workout. A study in the November 24, 2010 edition of "The Journal of the American Medical Association" reported that people who walked with weights lowered their blood sugar, raised blood oxygen levels and lost more weight than those who exercised with aerobics or weights alone. You don’t have to buy hand-held weights to get the benefits of weighted exercise. You can carry a frozen water bottle and stay hydrated as the ice melts.
If you enjoy mini trampoline workouts, weights can increase the effectiveness of the workout while protecting your joints. Wrist weights effectively add resistance, but you can also jog on the rebounder while holding a small weighted medicine ball or a can of soup in each hand. Rebounding is safe for almost every fitness level. If you have problems with equilibrium or worry about your ability to stay upright while walking, bouncing or jogging on the rebounder, you might prefer using wrist weights so you can hold on to a stability bar for balance.
Don't use ankle weights when walking because they can increase the risk for injury to your ankles and legs, advises MayoClinic.com. Use 1-to-3-pound hand-held weights for the most effective workout with the least amount of risk, reports ACE Fitness. Weights larger than 3 pounds could stress your arm, shoulder, wrists and elbows. The use of small wrist or hand-held weights increase your heart rate and oxygen consumption more than exercising without the weights, but can cause a greater blood pressure elevation in some people, according to a 2007 study in "The Journal of Human Education and Development." Participants who wore a weighted vest showed no such elevation.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for Everyone: Guidelines: Adults
- FitDay: 6 Upper Body Exercises with Water Weights
- Journal of the American Medical Association: Effects of Aerobic and Resistance Training on Hemoglobin A1c Levels in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes : A Randomized Controlled Trial
- MayoClinic.com: Walking With Ankle Weights? Stop!
- ACE Fitness: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks if Individuals Hold Dumbbells in Their Hands While Doing Step Aerobics or Other Cardio Activities?
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.