For years I was a runner, and would routinely go for long runs, even in the middle of the winter. When the weather was bad, spending time on the treadmill got really tiresome. But honestly, I mostly just got tired of running and needed a change. Since our local gym has an indoor pool, I decided to try aqua aerobics.
A fun workout. Boy, was that the change I needed – I love the aqua aerobics workouts, the people I meet in class, and the exercise routines. I was amazed at the variety of workouts available. I’m glad I started with classes, to learn what aqua aerobics was all about. I quickly found some favorite exercises quickly, which are really simple to do:
Climb the walls. Also known as the Spiderman, this exercise had our whole class laughing while we did it. You tread water in water about chest deep, near the wall of the pool. Then you just run up and down the wall of the pool and back down. The teacher had us alternate the leading leg each time we started. After 4 sets of climbs, I was really breathing hard, and it felt great.
Build the core. When I first went to class, people walked in with these long tubes, and I couldn’t figure out what they were for. We used them for things like the plank, which is a wonderful core building exercise. You take the long tube, commonly called a foam noodle, and in waist deep water, put your hands on it about shoulder width apart. While keeping your back straight, you press down, letting yourself sink into the water, where your head is just above the water. Hold that position for as long as you can.
Throw in some yoga. I tried yoga one time, but all that balancing on one leg had me falling a lot, and I felt awkward. In the water – it was a totally different experience. We would put the foam noodle under one ankle, and keeping our back straight, hold a balanced position. I felt my hamstrings gradually release, and got much better work out of this exercise than I ever could on land. That sold me on the value of the foam noodle, and I went and got my own noodle here.
Tread water for cardio. I remember learning how to tread water when I was in swim class as a kid, but hadn’t done it since. The teacher took us to the deep end of the pool to have us tread water, saying we would get the same calorie burn as a 6 mile an hour run. I admit, I was skeptical, until we did it for a while. Some of the ladies were totally relaxed and looked like they could do this exercise for hours, but I was breathing hard much quicker than I expected. Who knew? I’ll use this exercise a lot, because it felt wonderful and I could tell I was getting a good cardio workout.
I have really enjoyed aqua aerobics, and I’m impressed by how such simple exercises can provide a great exercise routine. Next, I think I’ll give aqua kick boxing or Zumba a try.Becky Flanigan writes freelance articles for In The Swim. she uses writing skills she picked up in school. Becky enjoys spending time and travelling with her husband, 3 kids, and 2 golden retrievers. She spends a lot of her summer hours at the family swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs splash and play. She is also an avid gardener – and even helps some of her friends landscape and decorate their yards.