Aerobics is a form of cardiovascular exercise, which means it elevates your heart rate and burns calories. Many people choose aerobics as part of a weight-loss routine, while others use it to maintain a healthy weight and prevent diseases. Water aerobics is a variation that some people prefer because it lowers the impact of traditional aerobics. Understanding the differences and similarities between the two helps you make the best choice. Talk to your doctor before starting a new aerobics program.
The equipment needed for land aerobics differs from what you need in the water. On land, choose a sturdy pair of running shoes with plenty of traction. This prevents slips and falls on the gym floor. Snugly fitted exercise clothing that isn't too loose or too tight allows full range of motion during aerobics and maximizes your performance. For water aerobics, choose a swimsuit that fits well and doesn't squeeze your body or hang too loose. This allows you to move through the water easily. If you have long hair, a swim cap helps keep it out of your way in the pool.
Both land and water aerobics are good options for weight loss or weight control. However, each has different calorie-burning potential, which helps you make the right choice for your goals. In general, an hour of land aerobics burns about 365 to 533 calories, depending on intensity, for a 160-pound person. The same person burns about 400 calories during water aerobics. If you weigh less, your calorie burn is lower and if you weigh more, you'll burn more calories. The intensity of your session also plays a role in calorie burn. If you take lengthy breaks or slow down toward the end, your calorie burn is likely to be lower.
While land and water aerobics are both good forms of cardiovascular exercise, pool aerobics are a good choice for pregnant women, the elderly population and people with physical limitations. This is because the water offers buoyancy, taking pressure off your joints and bones during aerobic moves. The added resistance of the water is also good for building muscles as you exercise. It's harder to move your body through water, which makes your muscles work harder with each move. Exercising in the pool also lowers your risk of injuries.
For most healthy people, land aerobics is beneficial. It is a good choice for beginners because many classes are tailored to a variety of skill levels. Moving through the water is often harder, making land aerobics easier for some people. The balance required for land aerobics also increases coordination and agility with a consistent schedule. Land aerobics classes also have the potential to be higher intensity than water ones, making them a better option for someone who is looking for a vigorous form of exercise. The chances of injury are higher on land, however, so proper technique is important for staying safe.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.