A large percentage of aerobic dance class participants and instructors experience injuries. Most injuries occur to the lower leg.
Over-using muscles may cause them to fatigue and increase their risk for injury.
Most experts recommend treating injuries with ice as soon as possible. Ice therapy relieves pain and slows blood flow to the injury. As a result, internal bleeding and swelling may be reduced.
Pounding of the feet is one of the most common causes of stress fractures, which are tiny surface cracks in the bones, of the foot and shinbone.
Overuse injuries of the knees are caused by repetitive bending and straightening. Hyperextending or hyperflexing the knee joint can cause injury as well.
Knee sprains and strains are also common in aerobic dance.
The impact or twisting of the knee inward or outward causes ligaments to be stretched or torn.
A qualified healthcare provider should be consulted before making decisions about new exercise routines.
Choose a certified aerobic instructor who is trained to give safe, effective, and fun classes.
One randomized clinical trial concluded that dance-based aerobic exercise, specifically designed for older women, may improve selected components of balance and locomotion/agility, thereby lessening risks of falling. The coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors improved for those participating in diet modifications or diet plus exercise (walking or aerobic dance). Reductions in low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and fasting glucose were significantly greater in the diet with aerobic group compared with the diet only and diet with walking groups.
Low-impact aerobics: Utilizes aerobic movements (those movements involving large muscle groups used in continuous rhythmic activity) in which at least one foot contacts the ground at all times. Low-impact aerobics evolved to decrease the lower leg overuse injuries associated with high-impact classes. Recommended for special populations, such as seniors, pregnant women and overweight individuals.
High-impact aerobics: This type is aerobic dance in which there are moments when the body is moved through space and both feet lose contact with the ground. High impact aerobics utilizes aerobic movements such as jumping and hopping. It provides great cardiovascular advantages along with good metabolic benefits (i.e., kilocalories utilized per minute of exercise).
Step aerobics: Step aerobics involves stepping up and down from a platform. Step aerobics can offer a moderate- to high-intensity cardiovascular workout with low impact stresses. Intensity of the class can be individualized by changing the platform height and use of propulsion.
Water aerobics: This type of aerobics is done in the water. Water aerobics is very low-impact and, due to the buoyancy of the water, is recommended for overweight people. It is not necessary to know how to swim to do water aerobics as they are usually done in waist-high water.
Tae Bo®: TAE BO is an acronym for Total Awareness Excellence Body Obedience. It is an aerobic exercise routine developed by tae kwon do practitioner Billy Blanks that combines music with training exercises to develop an intensive workout regimen. It is a combination of tae kwon do (Korean martial art) and boxing. The high-intensity workout has been shown to increase cardio fitness, strength, muscular endurance and flexibility.
Equipment recommended: Experts recommend proper foot wear (shoes designed for aerobic dance are recommended), and lightweight and well-ventilated clothing for dance aerobics. Also recommended is a spacious area or room, floor surface that provides cushion and stability, motivating music 120-135 beats per minute or an exercise video tape if at home, or various aerobic shows on TV.