Looking for a fun and challenging workout that will play nice with your joints? How about water aerobics? If you thought water aerobic classes were just for the older folks, then it’s time for you to jump into the pool and see the truth for yourself. These days, many of your favorite workout classes and workout styles are now showing up in the pool. Whether you love boot camps, HIIT classes, or even dance classes, you can find it in aqua aerobic form. Water aerobics is for everyone, so suit up and jump in.
What Is Water Aerobics?
If the term “water aerobics” brings to mind a group of senior citizens bobbing in the water with flowered swimming caps, lose that outdated assumption. Today, it’s not uncommon for professional football players to perform pool recovery workouts after games or for serious athletes to cross-train in the water.
What, then, is water aerobics? In a nutshell, it’s a form of exercise that takes place in the water. Most often, aqua aerobics is performed in a pool. Participants typically stand in water up to chest height and perform a series of exercises. The term “aerobic” also means “with oxygen,” so while many water aerobic exercises will have you breathing hard, you won’t be doing any sprints or heavy weighted movements.
Beyond that simple definition, there’s really no limit to what you might see in a water aerobics class. You may work with fins, kickboards, or water weights. You could find yourself performing squats and lunges, running in the water with the help of an aquatic swim belt, or even learning new dance moves. Almost anything is possible when you step into the pool.
6 Benefits of Water Aerobics
The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of exercise each week. If you’ve been looking for something a little different to add to your workout programming, aqua aerobics could be it. Just a few of the many benefits of water aerobics include:
It’s for (Almost) Everyone
Exercisers of all ages, body types, and fitness experiences can participate in and enjoy water aerobics classes. You don’t even need to be a strong swimmer, though basic swimming skills are recommended. The buoyant water is ideal for many individuals who may struggle in other types of fitness classes, including:
- Individuals with a disability
- Older people
- People with arthritis
- Pregnant women
Of course, you don’t need to be a member of any of these groups to get a great workout from water aerobic exercises. Whether this is your first day at the gym or your millionth, water aerobics is for you.
It’s Gentle on the Joints
Water exercise and swimming are some of the best low-impact activities available. The buoyancy of the water is gentle on joints and bones. If you have any joint pain, like arthritis, water aerobics can provide you with a way to stay fit while not exacerbating your pain. In fact, a study in the Journal of Rheumatology found that swimming (along with cycling) reduced pain and improved the function of subjects with osteoarthritis.
The gentle nature of water aerobics also makes these classes ideal for anyone recovering from an injury. Even if you don’t have joint or bone pain, a water workout may be a good option after a day of high-impact fitness.
Helps You Manage Your Weight
Just because water aerobic exercises are easy on the joints doesn’t mean they don’t pack a punch. After a few minutes of a water aerobics class, you may start to feel your pulse and breathing increase. These workouts are tough and can burn plenty of calories. An article from Harvard Medical School found that 30 minutes of water aerobics burns 144 calories for a 155-pound person. Your calorie burn will depend on your weight, age, gender, metabolism, and the type of water exercises you perform. However, any type of aqua aerobic workout will burn calories.
Gives You a Full-Body Workout
Ever wonder why walking through water is so much harder and slower than walking on land? That’s because water provides much more resistance than air. By moving through the water during an aerobics class, you’ll strengthen your muscles by constantly pushing through that resistance. Additionally, moving during a water aerobics class will increase your heart rate and improve your overall cardio health. Over time, you should notice your aerobic endurance increasing, allowing you to go further and faster during your workouts.
Provides an Excellent Recovery/Cross-Training Workout
After a long cardio workout or an extra tough lifting session, your body needs to recover. Many experienced athletes prefer to engage in active recovery workouts, which are low-intensity workouts that keep the body moving. If you want to increase your workout results, active recovery workouts can help you burn more calories without risking injury or burnout. Water aerobics can be an excellent recovery workout. The low-impact nature of the exercises can allow bones, joints, and muscles to heal.
Many athletes also choose water exercises as a means to cross-train from their primary sport. Water workouts can allow athletes to work different parts of their body without hammering their joints and bones.
Can Help Extend Your Independence
Though aqua aerobics is for everyone, water exercises for seniors are particularly beneficial. Regular exercise is crucial for older individuals. However, high-impact exercise may antagonize sore joints. Additionally, exercise can be difficult for seniors who struggle with mobility and balance.
Water aerobics allows seniors to improve mobility and balance, along with their strength, flexibility, and coordination. Maintaining these crucial abilities can allow seniors to live more independent lives for a longer period of time.
Water Aerobics Classes Offered by EōS Fitness
Interested in signing up for your first water aerobics class? A great option is to search for a local gym that includes a pool. Many EōS Fitness locations have an indoor pool and offer a wide array of water fitness classes. Here are a few of the water aerobics classes you may be able to take at your local EōS Fitness. (Note: Not every class is offered at every location.)
This water fitness class is designed to give participants an all-around great workout in a fun and safe environment. Not sure if water aerobics is right for you? Water fit can be an excellent introductory class for exercisers of all skill levels.
Love to dance your heart out but need something a little less impactful on your joints? Join your fellow dancers for this Zumba ‘pool party.’ Aqua Zumba will have you twisting, stretching, splashing, and more as you get fit while having lots of fun.
You’ll get a full boot camp experience in this class, which may include movements like kicks, lunges, jumps, and running in the water. This class balances intensive cardio movements with a dual focus on strengthening and toning. Water aerobic weights, noodles, and kickboards are often used.
Bust a move while being kind to your knees and hips. Dance Waves is a fitness party that will have you boogying and singing along to the music while burning serious calories.
This ballet-inspired class has moved into the water. Learn ballet-adapted movements that will strengthen your arms, legs, and core. You’ll also improve your flexibility when you join one of the most popular fitness trends.
Slow Flow H2O
Designed specifically to reduce joint pain and improve flexibility, this low-to-moderate intensity water class is perfect for anyone looking for a reduced-impact fitness experience. Whether you suffer from arthritis or simply need to give your joints a break, Slow Flow H2O is a fun class that delivers a solid workout.
Silver Sneakers Splash®
Prefer staying in the shallow end of the pool? Silver Sneakers Splash could be the right class for you. Use the class’s signature splash board to improve your strength and endurance. This class is inviting for non-swimmers and exercisers of all skill levels.
Keep It Deep
Ready for the deep end? This class mostly takes place in the deep end of the pool and includes stretching, cardio, and weight training for the upper body. Be prepared to use water hand weights and noodles to improve your buoyancy.
(HIIT) & Wet
Enjoy a challenging workout that uses the resistance of the water to crank up the intensity. This high-intensity interval format will help you improve your strength, endurance, and power. Get ready for fast-paced intervals that will help strengthen your overall cardio fitness.
The principles and exercises of traditional yoga have been adapted to this soothing class that takes place in a shallow water environment. Enjoy deep stretches within the water that won’t put excess weight on your joints and spine. This gentle, low-impact class is a wonderful way to work on flexibility.
This strength-training class uses the resistance of the water to help you tone your body. You’ll use water aerobic weights and noodles to perform strength exercises without putting too much weight on your joints and bones. Choose the weights that match your fitness level for a personalized strength-training experience.
Bootie Camp Barre H2O™
What do you get when you mix barre, yoga, and a pool? Welcome to Bootie Camp Barre H2O. Each class includes yoga and barre poses that will help sculpt your glutes in a way that is gentle on the hips. For a truly unique water aerobics experience, try this class.
Start Your Water Aerobics Journey Today
Whether you’re in an exercise rut or need a workout that doesn’t hurt your knees and hips, water aerobics can add some spice and splash to your fitness routine. There’s only one way to find out if aqua aerobics classes are right for you. Try one! Sign up for a Complimentary 7-Day Pass at your nearest EōS Fitness.