If you want to put variety in your water aerobics or are rehabbing from an injury, go deep. Deepwater workouts take place as the name suggests in the deep end of the pool. You can don a flotation belt and webbed gloves for a maximum workout.
Water workouts enable you to exercise without the jarring and jolting you are subjected to on land. While running or jogging is considered a high-impact exercise, running or jogging in the shallow end of a pool is low impact, and deepwater exercise offers virtually no impact. You get all of the normal benefits of an aerobic workout -- a stronger heart and more stamina, increased flexibility and range of motion, improved coordination and balance, enhanced mood -- with much less risk of injury. And if you are recovering from an injury, the buoyancy of the water enables you to exercise with less chance of re-injury.
The first few times you exercise in deep water, it might seem strange or uncomfortable. Work to attain correct posture. Position yourself as if you were going to jog or run on land, with your head up, shoulders back, and a very slight forward lean without bending at the waist. You should feel like you can freely move your arms and legs in any direction.
A deepwater aerobic workout resembles an aerobic workout in the gym. Your warm-up might consist of running or striding motions to get your blood pumping for the more intense portion of the workout. That might consist of a series of intervals, such as running, cross-country skiing or hurdle motions for three minutes at a moderate or hard pace, taking it easy for the next minute, and then repeating the sequence five to 10 times. Or you simply might run or ski in the water at a moderate pace for 30 to 40 minutes. A cooldown to end the workout might consist of running at an easy and decreasing pace for 10 minutes, followed by stretching at the edge of the pool.
One of the main advantages of any water therapy, including deepwater aerobics, is that you can adjust the intensity so easily. The water increases resistance compared to the air, and the harder you work against it, the more resistance you create. So you can move in the water gently for rehab purposes or "fight" the water by moving fast and hard for high-intensity workouts that even suit professional athletes. Deepwater workouts are also a solid choice for older people with chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.