Fitness & Exercise

Aqua Aerobics: Can Splashing Around in the Pool Help Ease Joint Pain?

Swimming is a great spoonie exercise and going to an aqua aerobics class helps get your joint and muscles moving (to music). It is said that water aerobics was invented in the 1950s and has been popular ever since.

Why is being in water so great for joints?

The water supports 90% of your body weight so there is less impact on your joints. You can get your heart rate up and move around without feeling it in your joints.

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It’s great for knees: moving the knee promotes muscle strength and is good for the fluid that cushions the knee.

Did you know? Pool workouts are a great way to build up cardio endurance. When in cooler water, the blood moves through the body at a faster rate to warm it up.

Why aqua aerobics and not just swimming?

Because it’s more fun! You can move more freely and do all sorts of things that would be too painful on land, such as lunges, jogging and even jumping!

The energetic pop music puts you in a good mood. If you close your eyes, you can pretend you’re in the Maldives with a pina colada awaiting you.

aqua aerobics for joint pain

What’s it like at an aqua aerobics class?

I’ve always loved being in the water and ‘aqua aerobics’ reminded me of the ‘uno, duo’ lunchtime class I did when I was about 8 on holiday in Lake Garda.

The British class at a public pool is a little different. I’d expected to be splashing around with a bunch of old ladies – and wasn’t completely wrong. The core demographic of aqua aerobics is a 60-70 year old woman, looking to get fitter and ease her arthritic pain. But there were a few young folk there and I wasn’t the only one under 30.

You start off with a warm up and jog around the pool before going into the routine. (It takes a few weeks to get into the swing of things and even though you feel hidden in the water, the instructor can tell if you’re doing it wrong!)

what is aqua aerobics

The resistance workout is great and being in the water feels amazing on my knees and ankles. It’s not something I go to every week but it beats the cross-trainer or bike, and apparently is better for me than sitting on the sofa watching TV.

Beware of the ‘activity hangover’ afterwards

Whilst aqua aerobics is good fun and your joints and muscles feel the benefit, it can be exhausting and cause a fatigue flare-up the next day.

If you work full time, like I do, then it can be too much to go on a weeknight. You need to make sure you have rests planned in to recover afterwards and learn how much your body can do.

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