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A beginner’s guide to the benefits of aqua aerobics

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If you read my monthly family roundup posts, you’ll have noticed I’ve been regularly attending the gym since joining on the 1st October.  Before this I’d been running and I’d already started attending an aqua aerobics class on a weekly basis since August.  Now I’ve joined a gym I attend their own water exercise class instead and I’ve religiously attended every single week.  There are some amazing health benefits to water workouts and they’re also perfect for beginners.  I’ll share the reasons why in this blog post.

I’m not a beginner to exercise and pre-kids I always attended a gym and/or ran outdoors on a regular basis, around three times a week usually.  I stopped going to the gym when I got pregnant and breastfed as I didn’t want to risk injuring myself or the baby and I’d read the hormone relaxin is produced when pregnant and for up to five months after birth which softens all the ligaments in the body, meaning joints aren’t as strong as usual.  I didn’t want to risk anything so my exercise regime stopped.  It’s only been in 2017 that I started running again in the spring; this lead to joining an aqua aerobics class in the summer and finally joining a gym again in the autumn.  It feels so good to be so active again and I hadn’t realised how much I missed the gym.

One of my favourite classes is aqua.  Here are the reasons I think it’s so great:

Perfect for beginners

Though it’s a great workout, the water makes it feel a lot easier than it is.  This makes it a perfect workout for beginners, even those who are a beginner to any sort of exercise at all.  The routines are straight forward and many are adaptable to suit different levels.  All you need is a good pair of swimming trunks or a swimsuit and you’re ready to go.  Unless you have an active bikini, I wouldn’t recommend wearing one.  All I had for the first class I attended was a bikini and all the jumping around meant the bottoms did not stay put!  The classes will provide any buoyancy aids you need, so aside from the cost of your swimwear and the class there are no more upfront costs.

Low impact

Exercising in water apparently makes you feel 90 percent lighter.  The impact on your joints is much less in water than if you were to do the same exercises on land.  This makes it suitable for those with injuries, but it’s also a great way for anyone to exercise without putting so much pressure on bones and joints.  The water is also cooling, so you’ll not feel hot and sweaty in the water.

Build strength

The water offers a much greater resistance to air, meaning you’ll always be fighting against the resistance of the water, thus working your muscles much more and building strength.  But the great thing about a water workout is you don’t always feel the burn.  The water magically makes the exercises feel so much easier than if the same were done on land.  Try a few squats under water and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  Don’t be fooled though, even though some exercises feel easy under water it’s actually an amazing cardio workout.

An enjoyable exercise

As well as being a great workout, it’s also really fun.  Aqua is not just limited to aerobics, but also dance.  The class I currently do is more of an Aqua Zumba incorporating dance into an aerobics routine.  I actually enjoy taking part every week and look forward to the class.  It’s enjoyable and doesn’t feel like a slog.

A stress buster

It’s well documented that exercise is a great stress reducer and aqua is certainly one of the best ways I’ve found to relieve stress.  Perhaps it’s the calming and soothing effect of the water mixed with exercise.  I always feel great after every session with any worries drastically reduced.

You can do it by yourself

Whilst joining a class is a great way to exercise with others and learn some great moves, you can also do it by yourself.  I often take a moment to run up and down the pool when I go swimming or race my husband Ben if he’s with me.  A quick Google search will discover plenty of classes you can view online to learn some water exercises.  This also means if you have kids you can practice some water aerobics next time you take them swimming.