AD/ I was commissioned by Simply Swim to share the reasons why I love Aqua Aerobics and why it’s so good for you.
Six months ago I decided the time was right for me to add some exercise into my week, so I joined a gym and I’ve been going their Aqua Aerobics classes a few times a week ever since. In those six months I’ve learned a few things, made a few friends and got a little bit fitter. If you’re thinking of taking up swimming or Aqua, here are a few things which might encourage you.
11 Reasons to take up Aqua Aerobics
Low impact fitness – I have a spinal injury, so bouncing about in a dance class is really not recommended for me. Swimming and Aqua Aerobics are very low impact, so the wear and tear on my joints is minimal.
It’s suitable for all fitness levels – You don’t have to be Rebecca Adlington to go for a swim. Many pools have fast and slow lanes, so pick your level and go for a swim. Likewise with Aqua Aerobics classes, there are people at all levels of fitness and experience, just position yourself where you have a good view of the instructor and you’ll be fine. Remember to tell them if you have any injuries, they often offer me alternative exercises due to my injury, which really helps.
It’s reasonably cheap – Your local leisure centre will offer swimming sessions for a few pounds, or Aqua classes for around £5. The gym I belong to has really long opening hours and several Aqua classes each day. I did my sums before I joined and found it was cheaper to join and have that flexibility than it was to go elsewhere. In terms of equipment, all you really need is a swimming costume and a towel.
Aqua is easy – I’m something of a stranger to exercise, but Aqua is easy to do; there are no fancy moves to learn, as long as you can swim a width (for safety), you can do Aqua. Stay down the shallow end if you’re nervous in water; do what you can, bounce about instead at the bits you’re not sure of, no one will mind. It’s all very easy going.
No one cares what you look like in a swimming costume – Seriously, no one cares. Everyone is in the same boat, we’ve all got lumps and bumps, cellulite and bits we’ve accidentally missed with the razor, no one cares how you look because everyone is busy sucking in their own stomachs when they’re getting out of the pool.
That said, you do need to be comfortable in your costume; if you’re bouncing about in Aqua, something with decent straps and a supportive bust will really help. If you’re conscious of your tummy there are costumes which can smooth that out a bit. I usually wear a swimming costume with bust support, thick straps and a boy short leg; so my upper thighs are covered. A lot of the Aqua class wear this style; so when you’re jumping up and down everything stays more or less where it should be.
You’ll make friends – I usually keep myself to myself, but in the last six months I’ve made a few nice friends in the pool. We chat a bit and often go for a natter in the hot tub afterwards. It makes me feel fractionally less alone.
Strengthen your pelvic floor – Now I’m in my 40’s, strengthening my pelvic floor is a high priority for me. All swimming strokes can help to exercise your pelvic muscles; you have to engage these muscles to keep your balance as you swim. The best stroke for your pelvic floor is the breast-stroke; the kick action makes your thigh and pelvic floor muscles contract, which strengthens them. Aqua Aerobics is also excellent for your pelvic floor; balancing in the water really works your core muscles. I have noticed a difference in the six months I’ve been swimming and doing Aqua classes.
It’s feel good fitness – Doing any kind of exercise gives you those feel good endorphins; busting some moves in the pool to some good music can (if you close your eyes) make you feel like you’re in some kind of Aqua disco. It’s fun, it really is, if you’re not smiling, you’re not doing it right!
Forget all your troubles – If you’ve got a head full of things to think about and worry about; Aqua and swimming are great ways of turning off that niggly voice in your head. When I’m in the pool I’m not thinking about work, or family, or what to cook for tea; for some reason it all just drifts away. Give it a try.
It’s family friendly – Although not strictly for kids; I have taken my son along during the school holidays and I’ve seen parents and kids in the children’s pool bopping along while the class is in session. Exercising in front of and with your children is excellent for modelling healthy lifestyle choices for them. My son loves that I go to Aqua Aerobics classes and that I swim, because it means he gets to come along sometimes too. It’s also given me more confidence in the pool and I’m less stressed about what I look like in my swimming costume.
Treat yourself afterwards – I always make time for a sit in the hot tub afterwards; if I have more time then I will also have a sauna or a steam. For me heat in all of those forms really helps my aches and pains. I like to think that it soothes any aches I will have from all the (vigorous?) exercise I’ve just done. If you work hard, then you deserve a little treat afterwards right?
I thoroughly enjoy going to Aqua Aerobics classes. They are fun and really good exercise, especially for someone like me and the physical problems I have. It’s done wonders for my confidence, both in and out of the pool. If you’re thinking about trying it for the first time, have a look at what classes are available locally and give them a try. What do you have to lose?