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Jul 5, 2023

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The Benefits of Water Aerobics

Did you know?

Water aerobics is better than running for cardiovascular exercise because there is greater resistance in water than in air.  It takes more effort to kick in water than to take a step while running.

Summer is here and it is hot.  As temperatures rise, and air quality is reduced, it is wise to find other alternatives to pounding the pavement.

A low-impact water aerobics routine has multiple benefits.  When we hear ‘low impact’ we may tend to think there isn’t much benefit to a workout routine that is considered ‘low impact’, but that is far from the truth.

Exercising in water makes you feel about 90% lighter, per a report from The American Council on Exercise.  When you jump or run in the water, your body does not experience the same impact these moves cause on the pavement.  As the body is gradually immersed, water is displaced, creating the force of buoyancy. This takes the weight off the immersed joints progressively. This means a 150-pound person carries as little as 15 lbs. when submerged.


As we know, when running on land, it is important to have the proper running shoes, most importantly because the impact is intense.  Taking your cardio routine to the water, allows your joints, muscles, and bones to receive a therapeutic cardio routine while massaging your body all at the same time.

Water aerobics is an ideal activity for people with arthritis, back problems, foot or leg injuries, knee conditions, and those suffering from chronic pain.

Listed below are some benefits of water aerobics:

  • Water has twelve times the resistance of air – therefore; strength is built by moving water.
  • There is a reduction of 90% in the joints when participating in water aerobics.
  • Swimming skills are not required.
  • You can be as creative as you like when developing your water workout.
  • There is a calmness to your mood when you are in the water.
  • You burn calories because water aerobics is a cardio activity.

Water aerobics can take place in the shallow end of the pool.  You do not have to know how to swim.

Water aerobics is suitable for those with balance issues, and it improves core strength and endurance.  Participating in such an activity as water aerobics, one will notice decreased muscle soreness.  As with any coordinated fitness activity, water aerobics improves flexibility and coordination skills.

By using the natural properties of water as resistance, you can burn calories and increase your heart rate. Your body is striving and creating new energy all while you are building a higher metabolism and healthier body. Over time, with regular exercise, this increase in heart rate can strengthen your heart. A stronger heart means more blood pumping through your body, which reduces your blood pressure and risk for heart disease.

Aquatic exercise is effective for anyone wanting to build lean muscle mass, increase strength, or heal from injury. It is also the ideal exercise method for aging adults by helping them maintain their good health at a comfortable, functional level.

Try these walking workouts next time you visit your pool:

These workouts ensure a solid calorie burn:

  • Arm swing progressions— Swing your arms while walking the pool length. As your arms go underwater, push the water and feel the resistance.
  • Pool jog— Jog the length of the pool. As you jog, punch your arms out in front of you. Opposite leg to the opposite arm.
  • Jumping Jacks— This provides a boost to the caloric “burn”.  Jumping jacks in the pool is an example of less stress on the knees and joints.

Walking in water burns up to 3.5 times a similar activity on land. Water-based activities also provide increased metabolism and increased strength, slow down age-related loss of muscle mass, improves cardiovascular health, and increases reaction time which typically decreases with age.

Water has healing power. You can use your water aerobic routine for hydrotherapy – unload the joints, reduce pressure on your bones and body, and enlighten your mental outlook.

Splish! Splash! Enjoy!

By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in the Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.