Treadmill is passé, walk in a pool to burn calories and build muscles

Although in her 60s, Kamini Khanna (name changed on request) wishes to be fit. Weighing 90 kg, she finds it difficult to exercise on the floor as it leads to excessive pain in the knees and gives her a backache as well.

punjab Updated: Jul 17, 2014 12:43 IST
Vandana Singh
Vandana Singh
Hindustan Times

Although in her 60s, Kamini Khanna (name changed on request) wishes to be fit. Weighing 90 kg, she finds it difficult to exercise on the floor as it leads to excessive pain in the knees and
gives her a backache as well.

But, the story does not end here. Khanna, in fact, now finds it easy to do various exercises without complaining of pain, after being introduced to aqua zumba in the city by a friend.
Sharing her experience, she said, “I wanted to be fit, because being fat makes one lethargic.

I tried gymming and various other floor exercises, but with age catching up, I couldn’t manage. Also due to my weight, I would end up putting a lot of physical stress on myself, which made the process all the more tough, so much so that I couldn’t do it the next time.”

She was even advised by doctors to not lay much stress on her body.

Gautam Sharma, a certified aqua zumba trainer from USA, introduced this concept in the city recently and was left amazed at the response he got.

Sharma said, “The activity itself has something new to offer, which makes it more appealing to the masses. I have tried to incorporate everything according the people’s desires, right from the music to dance and everything else.”

“Kamini joined me a few sessions back, but showed tremendous results. Now she doesn’t find it all that hard to burn calories in water, as compared to floor exercises. It helps her get rid of exercises where she had to bear excruciating pain,” he added.

He also mentioned that there were many members who had been advised to take up aqua aerobics by doctors.

“Although there is only aqua zumba as of now, more water activities like aqua walk, aqua aerobics will be introduced soon,” he added.

Trudging on the treadmill at the gym while listening to music is now passé. Aqua workout options range from zumba, aerobics, kickboxing to toning, jogging, etc. These exercises, apart from being helpful in weight loss, toning, flexibility enhancement and stamina boosters, are also a lot of fun.

“Working out in the water is three-four times more effective than regular workouts. Apart from its healthy impact on the body, the water-activities are fun especially in the summer. People avoid going to gym in this sultry weather. Staying in the water helps them burn calories and also gives relief from this scorching heat,” said Gautam Sharam, a certified aqua zumba trainer.


According to various experts, one of the biggest advantages of opting for any aqua-exercise is
that it helps in shedding extra kilos from the body.

One hour of vigorous aqua aerobics helps in burning up to 500 calories and aqua zumba helps in burning up to 600-800 calories, as compared to 300-400 calories by floor workout.

“The buoyancy of water reduces the weight of a person to a large extent, thereby reducing the burden on the joints and muscles. When a person is performing any exercise in the water, there are no compression forces which is why one doesn’t feel the pain at all,” said Sakshi Khullar, an aqua instructor with Healthcare at Home, a home health service in the country.

Vriti Aggarwal, an engineer by profession and dancer by hobby, fell short of words to describe
her experience of aqua zumba.

According to her, aqua zumba almost felt like partying, which included fun and dance in water, exercise and multiple health benefits.


Brazilian trainer Cristiana Pipoli at Hotel Jaypee Vasant Continental in Vasant Vihar in New Delhi has been teaching Aqua aerobics for more than 15 years. Her classes consist of 30 basic exercises that work the upper body, abdominal, thighs, gluteus and calves.

She mixes and matches exercises, but ensures there is a complete head-to-toe workout every session. Each class begins with a short warm up session and abdominal exercises, which are done on land.

“People suffering from high blood pressure, Parkinson’s, stroke, spondylitis may find it difficult to follow a rigorous exercise regime. But water workouts can help one to overcome these disorders easily,” she said.

“Splashing, stretching, twisting, shouting, hooting, laughing, hollering was clearly audible during aqua zumba class, that’s why it’s called a party instead of workout. Aqua zumba blends it all together into a safe, challenging, water based workout that’s cardio- conditioning, body toning, and most of all exhilarating beyond belief and for all that one even don't need to know swimming,” said Sharma.

People above the age of 60 can also easily match steps with an energetic 20-year-old in the pool.

“The results of exercises in the water have shown much better results than the other sort of exercise on floor. Most importantly it can be done by all age categories. Besides its recreational value, it is also known for its physiological and therapeutic benefits,” said Dr Sanjeev Mahajan, director, orthopaedics, Fortis Hospital, Ludhiana.

But he added that one shouldn’t go in the pool if having any infection or wound, as it could aggravate the problem.

Even pre gnant woman and children suffering from autism are advised aqua exercises. Water-based exercise can improve the health of mothers and their unborn children and in addition has
a positive effect on the mothers’ mental health.

First Published: Jul 17, 2014 12:35 IST