There are lots of great health benefits of aquatic exercise. And because it’s a low-impact workout, this sort of fitness routine is particularly good for seniors, people with arthritis or other joint problems, and those recovering from many types of injury or surgery. One of the best aspects of water-based exercise is that it provides an aerobic workout and resistance training at the same time.
Don’t worry if you’re not a strong swimmer, either. Water workouts are generally performed in water that’s about waist-high to chest level. The higher the water, the less weight and pressure there is on your joints, but also the more strenuous the workout due to increased resistance.
Depending on where you live, you may have lots of options when it comes to choosing an aquatic exercise class. You can find them at the YMCA, JCC, gyms, private fitness clubs, rehabilitation facilities, and other venues. Plus, there are classes that provide diverse routines, as well as focused offerings like aquatic aerobics, water Zumba, pool yoga, aqua cycling, and water weight training.
So, here are some simple tips for choosing an aquatic exercise class to help narrow down the possibilities and pick the best option for you personally.
How to Select an Aquatic Exercise Class
- Contact all the potential locations for taking aquatic exercise classes in your area to learn what they offer, who teaches it, and what the schedule is like
- Pay attention to what fitness and experience level each class is geared towards, and pick an appropriate one to ensure you can keep up, and that you’re pushed hard enough
- Find a class that provides a variety of exercises if you’re just looking for a well-rounded workout and general improvement in fitness
- Look for a more targeted class if that’s what you want; for example, water aerobics classes are great for heart health, weight loss, and improving stamina; water weight training is geared toward building muscle and strength; aqua yoga is perfect for improving balance and mental focus and is especially beneficial for people with arthritis or other joint conditions
- Ask your doctor or specialist to recommend a class if you have joint problems or are recovering from an injury or operation; sometimes, there’s a perfect class offered through a hospital or physical therapy provider (and your health insurance might even cover it)
- Do a quick search online to find any reviews of classes you’re interested in
- Also read reviews of the locations where classes are offered (especially if you can’t find many reviews of specific classes); look for places where people praise the staff, condition of the facilities and equipment, and cleanliness
- Ask about the instructors’ qualifications for any classes you’re considering; they should have real fitness credentials, and things like nutrition credentials and CPR and water-safety training are nice, too
- Try to talk to the instructor before enrolling to get a sense of what they do and how well they understand the mechanics and benefits of specific fitness routines
- Ask about taking a free trial class; many places allow this, and it’s a convenient, cost-effective way to get a good sense of whether the class is right for you