Sunday, January 11, 2015

Quick Tips To Get Started With Aqua Aerobics

photo credit: Old Shoe Woman via photopin cc
I have been a member of my local gym for ten years, during this time I've injured myself four times.  Each injury has taken months to heal, forced me to stop exercising or modify my exercise routine for weeks. One injury even required me to see a physical therapist.  One of the goals of my Live Healthy on a Budget Challenge is to remain injury free.  To do so Kaitlin Gardner of An Apple a Day  suggested I try water aerobics. In today's post, she offers tips on how to get started:

I got started with aqua aerobics because I hurt my knee on the treadmill at the gym. My doctor recommended I not do high impact exercises while it healed, and suggested I look into water workouts. It was really easy to get started doing water workouts, and here are some things I learned.

What exactly is aqua aerobics? I have never been much of a swimmer, so I have virtually ignored the pool as a workout option for years. I did some checking, and found out that if you do an exercise in the water that raises your heart rate and provides a cardiovascular element, that qualifies as aqua aerobics. A guy in the gym who is a big runner told me that he regularly uses the water to cross train, and give his legs a rest from the running trail. I looked into it more, and found some great resources with more information:

What if I don’t swim? Several of my friends have asked this question, and the answer I give them is that you can still do a pool workout even if you don’t know how to swim. Most of the exercises are done in waist to chest deep water, and I have done an hour long routine and never gotten my shoulder length hair wet.

What do you like to do? A big part of starting with aqua aerobics is to decide what you want to do – what exercise do you like enough that it will keep you doing it? The reason for this question is that there are a lot of choices. Sometimes I’ll choose my workout depending on my mood and workout need. If I want a vigorous workout, there are kickboxing classes or the super sexy moves of a water Zumba class. If I want to relax and bleed off stress, I will go to an aqua yoga or tai chi class. If I feel like a solid cardio workout, I go aqua jogging or for a short session of treading water.

Try some things. If you’re not sure what you might like, try out a few different exercise options. A great place to start is with a group aqua aerobics class. An instructor will lead the class through a series of exercises that will work arms, legs, and provide a cardio component. It’s a good way to see what water workouts are like. The bonus – the water is an enjoyable place to be, so people smile a lot, and are very friendly in classes. I’ve made some great connections that way. If you’re not sure, go watch a class to see if it looks interesting.

Workouts by yourself. If you’re not into group exercises, there are some great things you can do on your own. One of my favorite water workouts, and easy to try, is aqua jogging. It’s great when it’s hot outside and I want to exercise. I go to the community pool when the lap lanes are open, and jump in one. I begin to move up and down one with my best jogging posture. Slow it down a bit, and now you’re on an aqua walk. It’s hard to tell, but when I’m doing a really strenuous workout in the water, I will sweat, so it’s important to stay well hydrated, just like you would on a running trail. I keep a water bottle at one end of the lane, and take a couple of sips each time I pass by.

The main thing with aqua aerobics is to just give it a try – you will very likely find a workout that gives you a solid workout and makes you smile at the same time.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.


  1. I love these tips. I love aqua workouts. I really need to start going back to my gym to those classes. They were fun and definitely helped to make me feel better for sure.

  2. I've never tried an aqua class - I don't like the idea of changing into a swim suit and being seen at the gym in one! I do like the idea of the low impact workout. I knew someone with arthritis who took several water aerobic classes every week through her rec club. Maybe some day.