It's well-known that aerobic exercise is an important part of most fitness routines. Improved heart health and better stamina are just a few of the reasons why aerobic exercise makes for a great workout. However, not everyone loves getting hot and sweaty at the gym or on a run. For those who would rather enjoy some pool time, water aerobics is a great way to raise the heart rate in a fun, unique, and low-impact environment.

Open to Everyone

From beginners to seasoned gym veterans, young and old, almost everyone can participate in an activity like water aerobics. They are often structured as group sessions where a teacher demonstrates the moves and provides feedback throughout the class. A wide range of pacing, equipment, and difficulty allows for highly customized classes that are accessible to all.

Water aerobics is for all ages. kzenon / Getty Images


No Swimming Required

A person doesn't have to be a strong swimmer to participate in a water aerobics workout. Though it's important to use extra caution around the water, especially for those who aren't strong swimmers, water aerobics classes usually meet in the shallower parts of a pool so that the participants can still touch the bottom. Treading water should not be required. Class members may even choose to stay near a wall or ladder to feel more secure while they participate in the class, and the teacher and other students are always nearby to help if need be.

Water aerobics classes take place in shallow water. kzenon / Getty Images


Low-Impact Exercise

Lots of aerobic exercises like jogging or kickboxing are great for overall health but tough on joints. Water aerobics is an ideal low-impact option. The buoyancy of the water protects joints and prevents jarring, making it an ideal option for those recovering from injury, dealing with a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis, or just wanting a gentler re-entry into physical fitness.

Water aerobics is a low-impact exercise. american911 / Getty Images


Builds Strength

It's a fact that water is denser than air, so working out in the water automatically adds resistance. This resistance helps build muscle as class members push and paddle against the press of the water. Water aerobics classes may also use water weights, resistance bands, and other equipment to help increase the workout's strength-building potential.

Water weights add more strength training to a water aerobics workout kali9 / Getty Images


Improved Range of Motion

With the benefit of lower gravity and greater buoyancy, working out in the water often allows participants to achieve a greater range of motion than they would during a conventional workout. While it's important to remember the assistance the water adds and not overdo it, water aerobics is also a great way to increase flexibility or just discover and enjoy new ways to move the body.

Water aerobics often includes stretching. microgen / Getty Images


Weight Management

Like all aerobic exercise water aerobics burns calories and helps rev up the metabolism. It also builds muscle, which can further boost the metabolism and lead to increased weight loss. Along with a healthy diet, water aerobics can help people achieve or maintain a healthy weight and a toned physique to go along with it.

Water aerobics helps with weight management. sturti / Getty Images


Water Aerobics During Pregnancy

For moms-to-be dealing with extra pounds and a changing center of balance, water aerobics can be the ideal way to stay in shape while expecting. New moms should always check with their doctor before beginning a workout program, but research shows that water-based exercises are good for both mom and baby's health. Plus, spending time in the water takes pressure off strained joints and muscles common during pregnancy.

Water aerobics helps women stay fit during pregnancy. Peter Cade / Getty Images


Improved Mental Health

For many people, spending time near or in the water is a surefire way to benefit their mental health. Studies show that something about the sounds and sensations helps people relax, de-stress, and let go of their concerns. Since aerobic forms of exercise also improve mood, water aerobics packs a powerful one-two punch when it comes to improved mental health.

Water aerobics helps boost mood. kali9 / Getty Images


Better Bone Health

After an injury or as we age, bone density can deteriorate, leading to weaker bones and an increased risk of fractures. This is especially a problem for women after menopause, where lower levels of hormones can lead to osteoporosis. Fortunately, research shows that water aerobics, as a joint-friendly, low-impact form of exercise that still provides resistance, may be a great way for people of all ages to maintain healthy bones.

Water aerobics helps women keep bones strong. kali9 / Getty Images


Exercise With Friends

Though it can be done solo, water aerobics is usually a group activity. Attending the same class on a frequent basis can help form friendships and encourage people to hold each other accountable to their fitness goals. Water aerobics is fun, and having fun together helps promote long-lasting relationships that may lead to benefits that extend beyond pool time.

Make friends in water aerobics classes for fun and accountability. stevecoleimages / Getty Images


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