Top 18 Health Benefits of Water Aerobics

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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There are many benefits of adding water aerobics to your exercise regimen to improve your overall health.

What is Water Aerobics?

Water aerobics is a form of exercise in which aerobics are performed in a shallow body of water, typically a swimming pool. The additional resistance of the water to oppose your movement is a non-impactful way to exercise your muscles. While this exercise can be performed alone, there are also many popular water aerobics classes that can be done with the guidance of a trainer. This is often recommended because it can be difficult to judge the exertion during this type of exercise. Thus, doing it within a class appropriate for your fitness can ensure that the workout is worthwhile, without being too overwhelming or leaving you sore the next day. By combining cardiovascular exercise with resistance training, this is often considered one of the best and most efficient forms of exercise, particularly for older individuals.

water aerobics

Water aerobics are most commonly used by people who have experienced injuries and need to reduce the impact on injured joints and body parts. It is also popular for older people who suffer from arthritis or obesity. While the intensity of this exercise may not get the heart rate as high as land-based aerobic exercise, a great deal of effort is required for water aerobics, and some studies have found that it actually increases blood flow to the heart.

Benefits of Water Aerobics

There are many impressive benefits to doing water aerobics, including its ability to increase muscle strength, alleviate pressure on the joints and optimize bowel function, among others. Water aerobics can help boost health and physical vitality in the following ways:

  • Increase muscle strength
  • Boost endurance capabilities
  • Support flexibility
  • Prevent injury due to low-impact nature of these exercises
  • Alleviate pressure on the joints
  • Eliminates stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression
  • Burn more calories than traditional aerobics
  • Lower blood pressure to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attack and strokes
  • Aid in weight-loss efforts
  • Provide relief from chronic pain
  • Boost bone health by increasing muscle and joint strength
  • Improve spinal problems
  • Promote healthy bowel function
  • Support overall physical and mental health
  • Increase confidence and mood
  • Stimulate circulation, blood flow, and oxygenation
  • Aid cardiovascular stamina for workouts and endurance athletics

Water Aerobics Side Effects

The various benefits of water aerobics are hard to deny, but there are certain potential side effects, as well as medical conditions that may preclude you from enjoying this type of exercise. Some of the potential side effects include:

  • Worsening of asthma symptoms
  • Potential heart problems
  • Issues with the skin and hair

Excessive exposure to chlorine, if this becomes the main area for your exercises, could cause damage to the skin and hair, so moisturizing and proper showering following a swim are recommended. Furthermore, some people can be allergic to chlorine or bromine, two common elements in swimming pool water. This can result in lung irritation, as well as topical inflammation on the skin.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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