When you think of swimming pool classes, you may conjure up an image of seniors in one-piece swimsuits with brightly colored swim caps using pool noodles to tread water.
A growing trend, water fitness classes look different now. Experts expect them to continue growing in popularity and evolving to meet the needs of different demographics.
Swimming itself is a great cardio exercise, which I’ve extolled before. But there’s more you can do in a pool than just perfecting your butterfly stroke.
Forbes reports that water offers a low-impact but vigorous workout that’s good for anyone. Spanning from gym buffs to those who have sports injuries, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
It might be time to check with your gym or nearest YMCA to find out what kind of pool classes they’re offering these days.
Preconceived Notions About Swimming Pool Classes
There are plenty of preconceived notions about swimming pool classes. Let’s put these to rest.
Water Fitness Classes Only Happen at the Gym
Whether at the gym, a community center, or your neighborhood’s pool complex, any pool can provide an appropriate place for water fitness classes. Classes don’t have to rely on the warm sunny days, either. Indoor pools are on the rise, meaning that regardless of the weather, water fitness classes can still take place. You can even work out in your own pool at home. Look for books and videos to give you ideas.
Water Fitness Classes Are Only for Women
Thinking back to the image at the start of this article, did you picture only women? While women make up the majority of participants in water fitness classes, men are starting to turn up at water fitness classes too. As with yoga and pilates, people are discovering that a good workout doesn’t necessarily depend on gender. Some facilities divide the classes by gender–possibly to alleviate any self-consciousness that some people might feel–but men can find classes too.
How Water Fitness Classes Help the Body
Swimming pool classes can be great fun for participants and can even help them make friends. In addition to helping people’s social lives stay strong, water fitness classes can also help the body get stronger and help the body heal from injury. Below are some of the benefits.
Improved Circulatory System
According to research done by the Aquatic Exercise Association, people’s heart rates decrease in the water. The more often you exercise, the lower your heart rate. Regular exercise can also control your blood pressure, and boost your immune system and your immune function.
The American Journal of Cardiology published a study, called Effects of Swimming and Cycling Exercise on Vascular Function in Patients with Osteoarthritis. It concluded that swimming is ideal for patients who have osteoarthritis. Following a swimming class, vascular endothelial function increased, while interleukin-6 levels decreased. The study asserts that swim classes are a superior exercise for people with osteoarthritis than land-based exercise, which ranges from cycling to weightlifting.
Some of the short-term symptoms of stress include headaches, irritability, abnormal heart rate and blood pressure, and irregular sleep patterns. In the long-term, anxiety and depression symptoms appear, and you may experience chronic illness and cardiovascular disorders. To counteract those symptoms, aquatic classes provide fun and relaxation, along with the release of endorphins that accompanies cardiovascular exercise.
If you have arthritis, swimming fitness classes are an effective reliever in symptoms. The Aquatic Exercise Association reports that water fitness classes: increase strength and flexibility, strengthen and protect your joints, maintains and improve bone strength, increase energy for activities, improve sleep, and improve balance.
Swimming Puts You in a Better Mood
According to the International Journal of Circumpolar Health, in research entitled Winter Swimming Improves General Well-Being, participants in the study experienced decreased tension and fatigue in four months. From October to January.
The participants also reported better memory and an increase in their moods. The participants in the study all had rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma. And they indicated that swimming during the winter relieved their pains.
If you’re looking for a new exercise regimen to implement in your life, consider adding water fitness classes. Whether it’s for more social connections or an improved physical outlook. Swimming can be a great help to you.