In the fitness world, an emerging dynamic duo is rapidly gaining in popularity. This type of workout combines two exercise elements that are separately great, but together pretty phenomenal — water and spinning. It’s called aqua cycling, a new type of underwater spin class attracting fitness fanatics and offering a myriad of health benefits. Here are the aqua cycling benefits, what you need to know and why you should hit the pool.
What Is Aqua Cycling?
Aqua cycling originated in Italy as a type of athletic rehabilitation. A physical therapist discovered that pedaling underwater effectively helped athletes who had suffered from a knee injury. The rehabilitation technique then grew into a fitness craze and major calorie burner. Stationary bikes are submerged in four feet of water in a pool. People sit waist deep in the water and pedal away against the natural resistance of water, creating a full-body workout.
Destroys Calories & Cellulite
Underwater cycling torches calories and burns a whopping 800 calories in one hour. Aqua cycling can also banish unsightly cellulite; cycling in H2O causes a natural sense of friction between the water and skin. These movements create a massaging action that helps stimulate and drain the lymphatic system, which helps eliminate cellulite.
Aids in Joint Pain
Aqua cycling offers the benefits of water exercise, especially for people with osteoporosis. First, exercising underwater drastically reduces the amount of weight people exert on their joints, according to “Swimming and Osteoporosis” by Pool Products. The buoyancy of the water helps prevent injury and falls. Not only does it enhance your cardiovascular fitness, biking underwater also helps increase muscle strength, build bone strength and improve balance — without placing any undue stress on the joints and bones. It’s an impact-free workout for all body types supported by water’s feeling of zero gravity.
If you like to run or engage in other intense land-based exercises, aqua cycling is a great recovery workout and provides your joints with a wider range of motion than on land.
Gentle, Calm & Efficient
Another fitness perk of aqua cycling? You won’t suffer from an “exercise hangover” the following day. A traditional spin class can cause aching muscles and soreness the next day, whereas most people who do aqua cycling are pain-free 24 hours later. Water has a gentle effect on the body and prevents micro-tears and traumas that typically happen to muscle fibers and connective tissue while exercising on land.
Aqua cycling fans also love the relaxed and calm environments. Everyone pedals along underwater at their own pace, rather than in a hot and sweaty classroom with blaring music and a shrill instructor. The first New York City aqua cycling studio Aqua dims lighting and creates a “candlelit mood” that’s “more therapeutic than punishing,” describes The New York Times.
Temperature is another bonus. As people heat up from all of the pedaling, the refreshing cool water of the pool helps regulate body temperatures and prevent overheating.
Overall, aqua cycling offers prolonged benefits, long after the class is over. As you cycle in the water, you’ll increase blood flow, circulation and breathing capacity. It energizes, rejuvenates and replenishes the body. Aqua cyclists also work out in a tranquil environment, which reduces stress, relaxes muscles and promotes healthy sleep.
About the Author: Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories.
Lead Image: Topuklu Haber; second image: Vogue