My view of water aerobics has always been slightly skewed. Instead of seeing it as a viable option for a swimming alternative exercise, I have seen it as the hour to avoid going to the gym pool because all the lanes will be crowded.
However, the more research I do, the more my interest peaks!
Could water running be the diamond in the rough of all water sport workouts?
Does it really feel like I’m just playing around for 30 minutes and then- presto -I have stellar abs and rippling biceps?
Let’s delve into the magic of water aerobics and find out what it’s really all about.
A Ridiculously Good Workout
Water aerobics is great in many of the same ways that swimming, dancing, or aerobics are.
Just like swimming, the, “water’s continuous resistance forces you to engage more muscle fibers through a larger range of motion.”
The class is structured and designed like an aerobics class in many ways. With the exception of it being in the water. So, assume you are getting all of the main benefits of an aerobics class workout and then amp up the intensity to account for the extra water resistance.
It’s been said that, “Simply treading water vigorously can zap 11 calories a minute, same as a six-mile-per-hour run.” Many of the moves in water aerobics utilize elements of water treading to transition through each exercise. So, figure in those benefits as well!
And, you are going to be performing these movements to the beat of music! Just like in a normal aerobics class. So that’s going to put an extra kick in it, too!
Less Monotonous Than Swimming
Have you ever just had a day where you are burnt out on swimming? Sometimes, I seem to need a change of pace to mix things up. It doesn’t mean I’m less passionate about swimming than I used to be.
It just means I need a recovery day. And let me tell you, water aerobics is a lot more entertaining in certain ways. The technique and movements are changing regularly throughout the class.
It is a lot less repetitive. I can also easily detect when different muscle groups are being used. Before I know it, a whole hour as zoomed by and I barely even noticed!
Less Competitive than Swimming
Water aerobics may lack a bit in the competitive aspect, since there is no racing element. This drive and adrenaline is a huge part of why many of us love swimming.
But it might not be a bad thing, in certain situations, to opt for a more mellow choice. Perhaps your sibling is in town and you know that whenever things get competitive between you, it ends in a fight.
Maybe when you go to the gym together, you’ll choose a water aerobics class instead to avoid the drama. That way, you still get to be in the pool, get a great workout, and get along!
Great Rehabilitative Alternative
Are you suffering from a stress injury due to repetitive motions in your shoulder?
Water aerobics can be a great way to stay fit and get your water sport fix without further exacerbating your injury. It mixes things up and uses other motions/techniques.
Instead of the same repetitive strokes that, if not done properly, may cause a stress or overuse injury in swimming.