I got into aqua aerobics or aquafit when I was pregnant with Sunshine. Since then, I’ve done it off and on but it’s still one of my favourite forms of exercise. Today, Kaitlin from An Apple Per Day is here to share some information and tips on how to get started with aqua aerobics.
One of the most fun exercise discoveries I’ve made recently has been aqua aerobics. It happened by accident—I hurt my knee running, and one of my runner buddies suggested I give the water a try while my knee healed. I’m having a blast with water workouts. I may even trade in my running shoes before it’s all over. Here’s what I discovered about aqua aerobics.
What is aqua aerobics all about?
At the basic level, aqua aerobics or aquafit is pretty simple. Aerobics is essentially getting your body moving to raise your heart rate. You can readily accomplish that in the water. Think of it as a gym in the water.
Almost anything you can do in the gym can be accomplished in the water. There are a great range of options available—from weight work to super cardio exercise. If you want to get more vigorous, try kick boxing or the super popular Zumba in the water. If you want a stress reliever, try tai chi or water yoga.
Why is aqua aerobics so good?
The biggest benefits of working out in the water come from two words—buoyancy and resistance.
- When a person is in the water, the buoyancy of the water means they only have to support a fraction of their body weight. That lightness is great for injured joints, sore muscles or for people who suffer from ailments like arthritis. Plus it just feels good. After all, our bodies are made up of 60 percent water, so being in the water just feels natural.
- The effect of resistance: When I first went aqua jogging—which is just going to the lap lanes at the pool and walking up and down at a brisk jogging pace—I thought since I was a runner, I would have no problem. It didn’t take long for me to realize how much I was having to work to push my body through the water. Because of the density of the water, there was a lot of resistance, which greatly improved the cardio effect I got.
How do you get started?
I’ve had several people tell me they didn’t want to do aqua aerobics, because they couldn’t swim. Actually, I do most of the workouts in waist to chest deep water. I can go a whole hour without getting my shoulder-length hair wet.
A great way to start is to try a group class at the community pool. In a water class, there’s a fun sense of togetherness. Everyone is laughing and smiling. People are willing to show you the moves you might not be familiar with.
Work out on your own. If the group thing is not for you, there are other great options. Just go to the community pool like I did, when the lap lanes are open, and try aqua jogging. It’s really soothing and restful, even while you’re getting a great workout.
If you want to get some other types of exercise, just get in waist deep water and try some jumping jacks, squats, or other similar exercises. Lunges have always been a grind for me on land – my knees creaked – but in the water, the foot landing was so gentle, it was great!
Take it easy to start. If you haven’t been exercising recently, you’ll want to start out by taking it a bit slow. Don’t overdo for the first couple of sessions. Even if you’ve been working out, you’ll be surprised at how hard you have to work in the water, so start moderately.
If you give aqua aerobics a try, I suspect you might be like me, and come to love them! Just try it – you’ll see!
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.