Water aerobics are a low-impact fun way to get cardiovascular exercise. Anyone at any fitness level can perform water aerobics. Because they are easy on the joints and minimizes pain, water aerobics are an excellent option if you suffer from arthritis or are looking for a form of rehabilitation allowing you to get back to exercise without a long delay. Most health clubs and recreation centers have a variety of programs that allow you to choose the best water aerobics routine to suit your needs.
Best for Joints
Water walking is cardiovascular exercise and the best water aerobics for people with aching joints or arthritis. Water walking is easy, does not impact your joints and helps to minimize pain, according to the Arthritis Foundation. All you need is a good pair of water shoes and a pool. Unlike other water aerobics classes that require more complex joint movements, water walking only involves walking at your own speed. The water provides 12 times the resistance of air, which helps to build muscle and increase cardiovascular activity.
Best for Fun
Exercise that feels like play will keep you motivated and make you want to go and work out. The best water aerobics for fun are ones that involve lots of splashing and movement. Water dance aerobics, pool party fun water aerobics and other choreographed water synchronized programs use music and movement to increase cardiovascular exercise, tone and improve muscle strength. A variety of dance programs are available to suit your musical tastes. Water dancing to the oldies will burn calories and tone your muscles.
Best for Advanced Athletes
If you work out regularly or are an athlete, advanced water aerobics will be the best fit for your fitness level. Advanced water aerobics focus on high-intensity strength training and cardiovascular endurance. Advanced water aerobics use both the shallow and deep ends of the pool. Advanced water aerobics requires that you can swim, float and be able to balance weights in both deep and shallow water. Advanced water aerobic boot camps are longer in duration, usually around an hour, and use circuit-style resistance training for toning. Other boot-camp variations include intense swimming and resistance training using water barbells, balls and noodles to increase strength.
Water aerobics are a good choice if you have joint problems, arthritis or are rehabbing from an injury. In addition, water aerobics help cool you off in the hot summer months while getting a good workout. Different water aerobics programs require different swimming skill levels; check with the class instructor before choosing a program. As with any exercise program, consult with your doctor before starting a new program.
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.