Why you should give a water workout a try
Water exercise is fun, challenging and a great way to change up your workout routine. At the Y, classes are taught by nationally certified instructors, and offer encouragement from friendly, welcoming classmates.
Yet, lots of folks are intimidated by, or aren’t convinced by the potential benefits of a water-based class. Ann Tagtmeyer, a water fitness instructor and Personal Trainer at the Eagan YMCA suggests four reasons to head to the pool:
1) You can burn as many calories as on land
Believe it or not, you can sweat in the pool—so be sure to bring a water bottle to class. Water instructors can offer different levels of intensity for exercises used in class, so people of all ages and abilities will get in a great workout.
When you work out in the pool, you’re combating natural forces like gravity and extra resistance of moving through the water, so you can burn as many calories as you might in a land-based class.
And even though you’ll be working hard, your body will enjoy benefits like less stress on joints and less after-workout muscle soreness.
2) You can prevent plateaus
When you keep doing the same exercises over and over, your muscle memory makes it harder to continually make progress. For example, if you want to take your running game to the next level, trade in some treadmill time for a cross-training workout in the pool—you’ll change up how your muscles work, and keep yourself from hitting a dreaded plateau.
3) You can find familiarity
If diving into a new type of workout seems intimidating, try dipping your toe into something sort of new. Many popular land-based classes are also available in the pool. If you like …
- Zumba, try Aqua Zumba
- BodyFlow, try H2O Flow
- Boot Camp, try Water Boot Camp
- Kettlebells, try Water Kettlebells
- Tabata, try Water Tabata
4) You don’t have to know how to swim
Swimming skills aren’t required for Water Exercise classes that take place in the pool, but you do need to feel comfortable in the water.
In most classes, the exercises are done in a vertical position— you don’t even have to get your head wet, unless you want to. In deep-water classes, everyone—regardless of swimming ability—wears a flotation belt, which is provided by the Y.
When you decide to give water exercise a try, head to your first class a few minutes early and let the instructor know you’re new so they can give you some pointers to make the most of your class.