If group exercise classes tend to make you feel like a fish out of water, you may want to try getting fit in the pool. Water aerobics are fun, safe, and best of all, effective. And, it’s great for all fitness levels — whether you’re just getting started in your fitness journey, or trying to beef up your workout routine.
Dawn Haas, water aerobic instructor at ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club, says that exercising in the water is low impact and easier on the joints. “The buoyancy, or upward thrust, exerted by water on the body acts in the opposite direction of the force of gravity,” she explains. “The water acts as a cushion for the body’s weight-bearing joints, reducing stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments and allowing more flexibility.”
Water supports as much as 90 percent of the body’s weight, reducing risk for injury and strain. But don’t think that means you’re getting off easy.
“Water is a natural and instantly-adjustable weight-training machine.”
“Resistance in water ranges between four and 42 times greater than in air, depending on the speed of the movement,” says Haas. That means the faster you go, the better the strength-building workout. And, the water provides resistance to movement in all directions. “Water is a natural and instantly adjustable weight-training machine,” says Haas.
Turns out, your heart loves the water, too. Haas explains, “The hydrostatic pressure of the water pushes equally on all body surfaces, helping your heart circulate blood by aiding blood flow back to the heart. This accounts for lower blood pressure and heart rates during the water exercise when compared to land-based exercises.”
Water aerobics can be especially helpful for those at risk from bodily stress, including the elderly, overweight, or those recovering from soft tissue injury. But because the water adjusts the workout to you, Haas says it’s also beneficial from those who are healthy and fit and looking to increase aerobic endurance, flexibility and muscle tone. Advanced participants can even use tools like water dumbbells, pool noodles and kickboards to kick up their workout.
ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club currently offers these four aqua workout classes:
- Aqua-Robics: A low-impact aerobics class that uses water props like noodles, dumbbells and kickboards.
- Aqua-Yoga: Combines the cardiovascular benefits of water aerobics with the breathing, stretching, balancing, and alignment principles of yoga.
- Gentle Aqua-Robics: Perfect for those with arthritis or other joint issues, this class includes range of motion, toning, cardio, and stretching at a participant’s own pace.
- Aqua ZUMBA: Music, cardio and toning combine for this fun water dance class.
To learn more about ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club’s water aerobics, visit their website or view their class schedule.