Swimmers have a special place in the American imagination. Graceful and strong, they are the quintessential athletes.
As a result, it’s not a surprise to most of us to hear that swimming pools can help keep us fit. However, for the large majority of us who do not consider ourselves strong swimmers, swimming pools are mostly used for cooling off on hot summer days. If we think about water aerobics, we imagine that it is something only pregnant women and the elderly can or should do.
Below are five ways the swimming pool can hold the key to greater fitness and health, for people at every age and every fitness level—whether or not you know a butterfly from a breaststroke:
1. Water makes things more fun!
According to the CDC, “people report enjoying water-based exercise more than exercising on land.” And we all know that if we don’t enjoy exercise, it makes doing it a whole lot more likely!
2. Increased resistance, decreased impact
Water aerobics, water jogging, and water walking (sometimes referred to as Vertical Water Exercises) provide increased resistance but decreased impact on joints when compared to the same activities on land.
3. Strength + Cardio = the Perfect Workout
Water aerobics classes, like fitness classes that take place on land, are designed to combine strength training and cardio workouts—the ideal mix, as we’ve already discussed.
Likewise, swimming provides both cardio and strength, because of #2 above. Livestrong reports that water provides 12 times the resistance of air, meaning that just cupping your hands and kicking your strokes through the water help with muscle development.
4. No one can see your two left feet
Unlike fitness classes on land, in water aerobics classes, much of the movement happens under the water. This means missed steps are less apparent to classmates, a comfort if you’re intimidated by the highly-choreographed moves of some popular fitness classes.
5. Burn, baby, burn!
According to the Aquatic Exercise Association, people who exercise in water can expect to burn 400 – 500 calories per hour. (The actual amount burned will depend upon the intensity of your activity, your size, and water temperature and depth.)
At the Simon Family JCC, we’ve got the four pools, instructors, and classes to help you meet your fitness goals under water!
Let us know you’re interested, and we will be there to help you take your fitness journey to the next level.