Have you ever heard of water aerobics? Maybe you have heard of water aerobics but just aren’t sure what it is good for. We’ve all seen those groups of people flailing around in the water, and maybe you think that water aerobics are only good for frail old people, but that really is not the case. Water aerobics is fantastic for people of all fitness levels and age groups and it can go a very long way in getting you to a healthy fitness level and keeping you there.
There are 10 specific benefits of water aerobics that you definitely need to know about, none of which are less important than any of the others. If you have never considered of engaging in some regular water aerobics, you might just change your mind after you give this a quick read through.
What Is Water Aerobics?
Water aerobics can also be known as aquafit or aquatic fitness and it simply involves doing aerobic activity in the water. Water Aerobic is generally done in fairly shallow water, usually no deeper than your hips, but sometimes the water can be up to your chest or even your neck, depending on how hard you plan on going. Things like knee lifts, running in the water, jumping jacks, and lunges are all great examples of water aerobics exercises.
Benefit #1: Helping To Increase Flexibility
One really big benefit that you can get from water aerobics is that it can go a long way in increasing your general flexibility. As we will talk about later on, the water adds a lot of resistance to any movement that you make. The water actually pushes and pulls your joints and body parts around in directions they aren’t used to moving, which slowly over time will actually get them used to those movements.
Moreover, this also forces you to push back in order to adjust to the pushing and pulling motions of the water. This constant pulling, pushing, and overall movement causes your joints to become flexible. The water also keeps your joints in constant motion, thus keeping you mobile and preventing you from getting rusty, so to speak. Being moved in directions you aren’t used to going in increases flexibility; it is almost like a light form of stretching or even yoga.
Benefit #2: It’s A Social Activity For Everybody
A big benefit that you can get from doing some water aerobics is that it is a very social activity. After all, you have to go to a pool to do water aerobics, and the chances are almost 100 percent that you aren’t going to be doing them alone, you’re going to be taking a water aerobics class with other people.
Being alone and cooped up in your home all day long is never fun and quite frankly it can get pretty lonely too. Humans are built to interact with others and we don’t do so well alone. In fact, our mental health can be greatly affected due to isolation, hence why the worst punishment for a prison inmate is solitary confinement.
A water aerobics class is a great way to get out of the home for a few hours and make some new friends. Maybe after the class is over and you get out of the water you can go out with your new friends to have some drinks! The point is that there is no better way to meet new people than in a group exercise class.
We also like the fact that water aerobics can be done by anybody. Both young and old people who aren’t in the best physical shape can easily handle a water workout and it’s thanks to the nature of exercising in water. People who aren’t that fit can start with some easy water exercises and people who are already in good shape can step up their game by moving as quickly as possible in the water or even adding some weights to the routine. It is truly a form of exercise that everyone can engage in.
Benefit #3: Building Muscle Strength
One of the best benefits that you can reap from engaging in regular water aerobics is that it is a huge aid when it comes to building up the strength of your muscles. Sure, there are a whole number of exercises such as weight lifting, cycling, resistance training and a whole bunch of other stuff that can help build muscle strength, but those things require you to have either your own equipment or a fairly expensive gym membership.
There is also the fact that water aerobics is technically a form of resistance training. Depending on how much of your body is submerged in water, plus the direction which the water is flowing, add a ton of resistance to any movements that you do. The water can add anywhere in between 4 and 42 times the amount of resistance that normal air produces.
This will no doubt train your muscles to become stronger, and it’s all thanks to just being in some water. You can literally get some great resistance training through the virtue of water, not to mention that the muscle you build is lean muscle mass, not that big bulk that weight lifters get. If you want to increase the intensity of your water aerobics workout you can always strap on some ankle or wrist weights or even use some dumbbells too.
Obviously, we’ve all gone for a swim so do us a favor. The next time you go for a dip, just try doing the motion that you would do when doing curls with dumbbells. You will notice how the water adds quite a bit of resistance, almost like you were holding some invisible dumbbells, so just imagine all of the good that water can do for your muscles.
Benefit #4: It’s Affordable
Another benefit that we really like about water aerobics is that it is quite affordable. If you don’t have the money for an expensive gym membership and you don’t want to shell out a whole lot of cash for your own home exercise equipment, taking some water aerobics classes is a really affordable option.
It does not cost all that much to join a water aerobics class, especially if you go to a local community pool. There is also the fact that if you choose to do so, you can always do water aerobics on your own and it usually only costs something like 5 dollars to take a quick trip to your neighborhood indoor or outdoor pool, heck, some even let you go for free.
Benefit #5: Reducing Stress & Anxiety
Something else that is very beneficial about water aerobics is that it can go quite a long way in helping you relieve stress and anxiety, plus it helps put you in a better mood in general. First of all, it is shown that water has a soothing effect on the mind. Simply put, there is something that is very relaxing about the serene and calm nature of water, something which helps relax our brains and put it at ease.
The soft and fluid nature of water can seriously help to relieve stress and anxiety. After all, why do you think that people love to go on beach getaways? Because it’s relaxing, that’s why! There is also another reason as to why water aerobics helps you relax and relieve stress and it’s thanks to the virtue of exercise itself.
Exercising causes your brain to release certain neurochemicals known as endorphins. The main endorphin which helps to make you feel happier and relieve stress, depression, and anxiety is called serotonin. Serotonin is a feel happy chemical naturally produced in your brain and it produces a sense of joy, happiness, and relaxation, feeling which counteract the sadness and grief caused by mental afflictions such as depression and anxiety.
Furthermore, exercising also causes your brain to produce endocannabinoids, a naturally produced substance in our brains which is actually also found in marijuana. We don’t recommend lighting up a doobie, but doing so causes a sense of happiness, relaxation, and also helps to counteract pain sensitivity. Luckily exercise releases these endocannabinoids into your brain without the need for illicit substances.
Benefit #6: Help You Build Endurance
Another thing that water aerobics and swimming in general are good for is to help you build your physical endurance. It’s actually pretty simple because water aerobics is, as we discussed before, a form of resistance training and thus it challenges your muscles.
The more your muscles get challenged, the bigger they get and the stronger they become. As your muscles get bigger and stronger, they can also work out for longer, or in other words, stronger and well trained muscles directly lead to increased endurance.
It’s really pretty simple and quite redundant too. The more you exercise, the stronger you get, the more you can exercise. In fact, swimming and water aerobics is a form of light cardiovascular exercise, especially when you move at a quick pace.
The stronger your heart and lungs are, the more blood and oxygen can be delivered to your muscles, things which your muscles need to work. Thus the more blood and oxygen get delivered to your muscles, the longer they can go for, something which water aerobics definitely assists with.
Benefit #7: It’s A Low Impact Exercise
Another reason as to why water aerobics are such a great form of exercise is because it is easy on the joints. When you are normally exercising on dry land, many workouts such as running, step ups, burpees, and other such movements put a lot of stress on your joints.
This is thanks to the fact that gravity pulls you down every time you land, thus giving your joints a big shock of impact every time you land, something which is not good for your joints. This is especially true for your ankles and knees which always hold up your weight anyways, even more so if you already have joint problems to begin with.
Well, exercising in water, since it causes you to be buoyant, counteracts the effects of gravity and virtually removes it from the equation. Therefore when your run in water or perform any other movements involved in water aerobics, you don’t land as hard and therefore do not suffer nearly the same amount of impact as you would on dry land.
In essence, water aerobics are a great way to get a strenuous workout without taxing your joints too much. It is especially convenient if you are getting up there in your age and suffer from joint problems because it allows you to get some valuable exercise without further damaging your ankles, knees, and hips.
There is another bonus when it comes to water aerobics and your joints. Diseases like osteoporosis as well as arthritis puts wear and tear on your joints, thus causing them damage and causing a lack of mobility and flexibility. It is shown that water aerobics and water therapy in general help to alleviate the stress put on joints and can help relieve the pain too. Hydrotherapy is a great form of therapy for people suffering from joint problems such as arthritis.
Benefit #8: A Pretty Good Cardio Workout
Something else that is awesome about water aerobics is that the increased resistance the water provides, combined with quick movements and strenuous movements such as running underwater, really causes your heart to pump at an increased rate. Making your heart pump faster means that you are exercising it, and just like any other muscles, the more you work out your heart, the stronger it gets.
The same is actually true for your lungs, which are also strained by strenuous water workouts. Having a stronger heart means that you will reduce your chances of heart and arterial disease, suffering from heart attacks, and can also relieve high blood pressure. There is also the fact that a stronger heart means that it can pump blood and oxygen around your body and to your muscles more efficiently, thus increasing your physical performance.
The same is true of your lungs because having stronger lungs means that they can absorb and process more oxygen, thus supplying your body with more of that good stuff which your muscles need to keep going. There is also the fact that having stronger lungs means that you can exercise for longer without getting winded.
On the topic of high blood pressure, the nature of water exercise can help reduce high blood pressure all on its own. The buoyancy of water also affects your blood flow and helps your blood flow freely and circulate throughout your body much easier, thus lowering your blood pressure and also your resting heart rate.
Benefit #9: Burning Calories
The next thing that water aerobics is great for is for burning calories. Since swimming involves certain elements of resistance training as well as a cardiovascular exercise aspect, it can help you burn a serious number of calories.
On average just 1 hour of water aerobics can help you burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories. This does depend on how fast you are moving in order to get your heart pumping, if you are using any extra weights in the water, as well as your own initial level of physical fitness. The fact of the matter is that swimming and water aerobics is a fantastic way to help you burn calories and lose weight.
Moreover, regular exercise is also shown to give your metabolism and your EPOC, or exercise post oxygen consumption a boost. Water aerobics will cause your body’s metabolism to go into overdrive, both during and after exercise, thus helping your body to burn more calories and turn your body’s fat stores into energy, ultimately helping you shed pounds and keep them off too.
Benefit #10: That Cool Motivation
The final reason as to why water aerobics makes for a really great form of exercise is because it cools you down. Exercising in general increases your body temperature, makes you sweat, and makes you feel uncomfortable due to the heat. Well, that is definitely not true when you exercise in cool water because you’re in a substance that naturally cools you down.
Exercising on a hot summer day can be especially sticky and uncomfortable, thus sapping away all of your motivation to work out, but you can easily solve that by doing some cool and calming water aerobics. It’s a great way to stay cool and stay motivated even when the sun is at its brightest and hottest.
If you still don’t believe us about the benefits of water aerobics, you might just want to give it a try for real. We seriously recommend getting in the water with a group of people because the benefits of regular water aerobics or even just swimming are simply spectacular. Water aerobics is a great way to get your muscles, joints, and other aspects of your physical health into prime condition. There is also the fact that being in the water seems to help people relax, yet another bonus. Don’t just sit there and give it a try!
Any comments or questions you have are more than welcome and we’ll do our best to address them as soon as we can!