Aqua Fitness - learn about fitness activities undertaken in water.
- Develop skills to use as a health, fitness or sports professional.
- Use aquafitness for rehabilitation after an injury or illness.
- Learn about aquafitness as a safer, more controlled method of aerobic and strength training (great for the serious athlete).
- Course duration: 100 hours of self paced learning.
- Study as a stand alone course or as part of a Certificate or higher qualification.
COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
The course comprises 7 lessons as follows:
Definition of aqua fitness and therapy and how it differs from other fitness activities. Encompasses the different stages of a fitness session and the management of an aquatic center
2. Equipment and Facilities
The aim of this lesson is to gain the skills and knowledge which will aid in the selection, use and management and facilities required for aqua fitness activities. Includes pool position, design and depth, equipment required for aqua fitness activities, music and first aid requirements.
3. Types of Exercises
This lessons gives an understanding of the wide range of different aerobic and anaerobic movements that can be used in aqua aerobic programs. Lesson content includes stretching, aerobic and anaerobic principles and exercises in both shallow and deep water.
4. Hydrostatic and Hydrodynamic Principles
The aim of this lesson is to develop an understanding of the principles underlying the design of an appropriate aqua fitness program. Includes definitions of pressure, weight and body alignment in water, warming up, recovery and cool down.
5. Safety and Health
This lesson gives an understanding of the aqua fitness training requirements of special needs groups. Includes pregnancy, safety and health requirements, pre-exercise screening checklists, liability and legislation.
6. Program Design
This lesson provides skills in the design and delivery of appropriate aqua based programs to improve and maintain aerobic fitness. Includes program aims, warm up, the exercise body, recovery and cool down examples, as well as intensity levels.
7. Leading a Program
This lesson gives an understanding of skills to provide better leadership qualities during an aqua fitness session. Covers leadership concepts, teaching, communication, body language and student numbers.
BEFORE YOU START EXERCISING IN WATER
The ideal water temperature for exercise is between 27 to 29 degrees celsius.
If temperatures exceed this, it might be catered for by:
- Completing the exercises at a slower pace. Watch the group for signs of tiredness, or flushed faces, and allow periods to "dip in" and refresh before continuing the work out.
- Allowing for longer recovery times.
- Including more hydrotherapy style exercises, and less aerobic exercise.
If water is too cool (e.g. 25 degrees C or lower), the class needs to be particularly active to avoid participants becoming chilled. When the activity is more strenuous though, for this or any other reason, there is an increased risk of injury or pain. This is more so with certain groups, such as the less-fit people, arthritis sufferers, and the elderly. Try to keep the activity continual without increasing the workload by a great deal.
Longer sets of gentler exercise and promoting gentle movement during recovery phases can help to keep the participants from chilling in the pool, without increasing the amount of injury. The use of non-restrictive wet suit components (e.g. vests) can also help keep participants warm, but this can increase body temperature so care must be taken to ensure the participant do not become too hot as the exercise session progresses. For outdoor pools the use of windbreaks (e.g. plants, or semi-permeable structures, such as slatted fences) can help reduce the cooling effect of strong winds.
A person is more susceptible to the following injuries if they exercise without warming up first:
Warming up does the following:
- It gets the muscles moving and in doing so begins to lubricate the joints
- It gently stretches the muscles conditioning them for more vigorous movements to follow.
- It increases the heart rate and respiration slowly which is safer than a rapid increase.
- Blood flow is increased
This warm up can be achieved by any gentle movement such as walking, either in or out of water, gradually increasing the intensity or effort, and ensuring that a wide variety of muscles in all parts of the body are moving.
There are five aspects to the warm up:
1. The overall body temperature is increased by overall general movement such as running or jumping. The heart rate should be increased gradually and sustained at a raised level for perhaps 5 minutes. The intensity and duration of this part of the exercise will depend upon the individual’s level of fitness and the environmental conditions It can take longer to warm up if exercising in colder water
2. Major muscle groups should be utilised first then smaller groups.
3. Blood flow to specific areas may need to be increased during warm up. The muscles are then targeted, and the importance of this will depend on the condition of the individual and the purpose of the exercise session. If exercise is being undertaken for therapy of an injury in the arms, then prescribed arm exercises might be important during this warm up stage.
4. The muscles which are to be involved in the exercise session should be stretched gradually. The range of exercises prescribed in this warm up stage should ideally encompass comfortable stretches – each for at least 20 seconds duration.
5. The joints which are to be involved in the exercise session should be moved gently at first. Extend intensity and range of movement gradually.
So ... Why should I study this course?
- Learn about aquafitness and therapy.
- Develop skills to use as a health, fitness or sports professional.
- Understand the selection, use and management of appropriate facilities.
- Learn leadership concepts and how to apply these to an aquafitness programme.
- Improve your knowledge of how to communicate.
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Interested in Aqua Fitness? Learn water fitness and safety with this ACS course
Aqua Fitness activities might be defined as any fitness activities undertaken when the body is submerged or partially submerged in water. This can include Swimming, Diving (high board or scuba), Snorkeling, Aqua Aerobics, Hydrostatic Stretching, Deep Water Running, or even more structured activities such as Water Volleyball or Water Polo.
- This course is perfect for anyone interested in water fitness and safety as well as teaching some of the essential elements such as aqua fitness equipment and facilities, hydrostatic and hydrodynamic principles, and program design and facilitating.
- The course is written by John Mason, author of the best selling book, "Aquafitness", published by Kangaroo Press.