It’s well-known that aerobic exercise is an important part of most fitness routines. Improved heart health and better stamina are just a few of the reasons why aerobic exercise makes for a great workout. However, not everyone loves getting hot and sweaty at the gym or on a run. For those who would rather enjoy some pool time, water aerobics is a great way to raise the heart rate in a fun, unique, and low-impact environment.
Open to Everyone
From beginners to seasoned gym veterans, young and old, almost everyone can participate in an activity like water aerobics. They are often structured as group sessions where a teacher demonstrates the moves and provides feedback throughout the class. A wide range of pacing, equipment, and difficulty allows for highly customized classes that are accessible to all.
No Swimming Required
A person doesn’t have to be a strong swimmer to participate in a water aerobics workout. Though it’s important to use extra caution around the water, especially for those who aren’t strong swimmers, water aerobics classes usually meet in the shallower parts of a pool so that the participants can still touch the bottom. Treading water should not be required. Class members may even choose to stay near a wall or ladder to feel more secure while they participate in the class, and the teacher and other students are always nearby to help if need be.
Lots of aerobic exercises like jogging or kickboxing are great for overall health but tough on joints. Water aerobics is an ideal low-impact option. The buoyancy of the water protects joints and prevents jarring, making it an ideal option for those recovering from injury, dealing with a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis, or just wanting a gentler re-entry into physical fitness.
It’s a fact that water is denser than air, so working out in the water automatically adds resistance. This resistance helps build muscle as class members push and paddle against the press of the water. Water aerobics classes may also use water weights, resistance bands, and other equipment to help increase the workout’s strength-building potential.
Improved Range of Motion
With the benefit of the lower gravity and greater buoyancy, working out in the water often allows participants to achieve a greater range of motion than they would during a conventional workout. While it’s important to remember the assistance the water adds and not overdo it, water aerobics is also a great way to increase flexibility or just discover and enjoy new ways to move the body.
Like all aerobic exercise, water aerobics burns calories and helps rev up the metabolism. It also builds muscle, which can further boost the metabolism and lead to increased weight loss. Along with a healthy diet, water aerobics can help people achieve or maintain a healthy weight and a toned physique to go along with it.
Water Aerobics During Pregnancy
For moms-to-be dealing with extra pounds and a changing center of balance, water aerobics can be the ideal way to stay in shape while expecting. New moms should always check with their doctor before beginning a workout program, but research shows that water-based exercises are good for both mom and baby’s health. Plus, spending time in the water takes the pressure off strained joints and muscles common during pregnancy.
Improved Mental Health
For many people, spending time near or in the water is a surefire way to benefit their mental health. Studies show that something about the sounds and sensations helps people relax, de-stress, and let go of their concerns. Since aerobic forms of exercise also improve mood, water aerobics packs a powerful one-two punch when it comes to improved mental health.
Better Bone Health
After an injury or as we age, bone density can deteriorate, leading to weaker bones and an increased risk of fractures. This is especially a problem for women after menopause, where lower levels of hormones can lead to osteoporosis. Fortunately, research shows that water aerobics, as a joint-friendly, low-impact form of exercise that still provides resistance, may be a great way for people of all ages to maintain healthy bones.
Exercise With Friends
Though it can be done solo, water aerobics is usually a group activity. Attending the same class on a frequent basis can help form friendships and encourage people to hold each other accountable for their fitness goals. Water aerobics is fun, and having fun together helps promote long-lasting relationships that may lead to benefits that extend beyond pool time.