Lots of people use their swimming pools as a way of keeping fit, either by swimming lengths, or swimming against a current provided by a counter swim jet. Whether you’re lucky enough to have your own pool at home or you visit a swimming pool at a gym or leisure centre, there are lots of ways you can exercise in the water and find a new way to lose weight, tone up, strengthen muscles and improve your lung capacity. Over the coming weeks we’re going to look at a variety of exercises you can easily do in the pool, to inspire you to make the most of this lovely weather, get outside and enjoy the water while you exercise.
Doing aerobics in the pool is similar to doing it on land, except that you have the addition of water resistance and buoyancy. The emphasis is on cardiac training, so expect to get out of breath! By doing the exercises in the water, you’ll actually be working harder than doing them on land, so even more blood will be pumped to the heart, and the resistance from the water means your muscles get more of a work-out too.
Water Aerobics, or aqua aerobics, is something that anyone of any age can do, and you don’t even need to be able to swim. Most of the time you’ll be standing in the pool with the water about chest deep. It’s ideal for people who have joint or muscle issues, because the water acts as a support, so that you don’t put unnecessary strain on your body. Usually, aqua aerobics is in the form of a class or group of participants, led by a qualified instructor – it’s more fun to do as a group, and you have the guidance of a professional trainer. Like a traditional aerobics class, there will be music playing, so you’ll do the exercises in time to the beat to keep you working at a steady pace and in time with everyone else. Many sports and leisure centres with a pool will run aqua aerobics groups, or if you have a swimming pool at home and you want a more relaxed approach, you could get together with a group of friends and take it in turn to lead the exercises.
To increase the effectiveness of your underwater workout, you could try doing aerobics with floats or weights. The moves you’ll do are similar to traditional aerobics, such as star jumps, lunges and stepping, but you’ll find it a quite different experience. Being in the water will help to keep you cool, no matter how hard you work, and it’s a great stress-reliever.
If you’re looking for a fun way to exercise as a group and feel energized, refreshed and invigorated, give aqua aerobics a go next time you’re at the pool!