Currently I teach a fitness class in the water Mon/Wed/Fri mornings. I call it Aqua Groove. When I first began teaching classes in the water I was a little skeptical. I wondered who would be interested in such a class and whether anyone would actually show up. I am not certified through Zumba Fitness for the water so I could not call it "Aqua Zumba" but it's basically the same thing. Or at the very least, extremely similar. (This will be remedied in June when I get my Aqua Zumba certification.) I have been pleasantly surprised by the response. In my Mon/Fri classes it is not unusual to have 25 people in the pool and we've even gotten up to 32. It has far exceeded my expectations and has been so rewarding for me as a fitness instructor. I LOVE seeing the joy on peoples faces as they burn off the stress and calories.
But not everyone is willing to give this class format a try. Water aerobics has had a history of being only for "elderly" or pregnant women. This is NOT the case! I have a wide variety of people in my classes. Young, older, fit, not fit, pregnant, not pregnant, men, women... the list goes on.
Check out this teaser for Aqua Zumba and tell me it doesn't look like a blast!
I decided it was time to get some REAL facts on water aerobics.
5 Reason's water is awesome
1. No one can see you!
You can shake it and no one can see all those parts that you don't actually want to shake! Plus if you don't do the right move or go on the wrong foot, no one knows. And if you have to modify something because it's too difficult, no one would be the wiser. In my opinion, the pool is the great equalizer. Some people cringe at the thought of getting in a swim suit but when you are in class, the only thing anyone else sees is your bright beautiful face and that smile you can help but sport as you let the music take you away.
2. You WILL burn calories
Do not be fooled. Just because you don't feel your heart racing, lose your breath, or sweat a ton, does NOT mean you are not burning calories. According to the Aquatic Exercise Association you can actually burn about 400 - 500 calories in an hour class depending on your size, the intensity of your movements and water temperature.
3. Helps build muscle
Exercising in water is 12 times the resistance of air. That means that simply by pushing against the water or cupping your hands, you are already working harder than you would on land. Add in the water weights for the handful of songs we do with them and you compound that even more. In my classes we do 4 water weight segments that work your arms, legs, and core muscles.
4. Easy on joints
This one kind of goes without saying but being in the water is simply easier on your joints than on land. Water classes are considered a low-impact workout. In fact, your body may feel up to 90 times lighter in the water. That's a lot of stress taken off those joints and muscles! If you have any problems doing regular Zumba classes, walking a treadmill, or taking any other fitness class on land, try taking a water class. To put it in prospective you could walk on a treadmill for an hour and burn 400-500 calories but your joints might scream at you. Instead, you could take a water aerobics class and burn the same calories while saving yourself from joint pain.
5. Water keeps you cool