Water aerobics

Pain Management
Mental Wellbeing
Weight Management
Hormonal Imbalance
Digestive Health

Main benefits

Enhances overall fitness level

Assists with weight management

Helps with cardiovascular and pulmonary health

Enhances the lymphatic and vascular systems

Helps improve muscle endurance and muscle tone

Helps improve flexibility and range of motion

Helps with injury or surgery rehabilitation

Helps with pain relief, including chronic pain

Helps with stress reduction and mental health

Helps with neurological conditions

Is supportive form of exercise for pregnant women, the infirm and the elderly

Enhances overall sense of wellbeing

What is and how it works

Water aerobics is an exercise method of resistance training which requires participants to be immersed in water, typically waist or chest deep, but sometimes in deeper water where feet cannot touch the bottom (deep water aerobics). Many classes incorporate the use of floating devices as exercise props.


Most water aerobics sessions take place in a group setting with a trained professional who leads the class from the dry poolside so participants can mirror the exercises. The classes are generally set to music, creating an upbeat atmosphere, and focus on aerobic endurance and resistance training. While similar to land aerobics, water aerobics differs in that it uses water for resistance and buoyancy, resulting in a low or non-impact total body workout.


The buoyancy of the water makes water aerobics a good choice for those suffering with joint problems, chronic pain, or those recovering from injury or surgery. In fact, water aerobics is beneficial for a range of participants, because the density of the water allows easy mobility for those with arthritis, obesity, and many other health conditions. The water also provides a stable environment for elderly people with less balance control. Older people are also more prone to arthritis, osteoporosis, and weak joints, therefore water aerobics is the safest form of exercise for these conditions also.


Aqua aerobics is also generally recommended as a form of therapy in hospitals, sports clinics and traditional outpatient rehabilitation centres. Some senior citizen centres may also offer aquatic therapy services as a form of improving fitness levels to their local residents.


The modern-day form of aqua aerobics stems from the 1950s when the first organised form of water aerobics was practiced by the US television fitness professional Jack LaLane. His daily television shows promoted a healthy diet and the benefits of aerobic exercise, but it wasn’t until the 70s and 80s that aqua aerobics gained popularity as a form of exercise and became widely embraced as a rehabilitation strategy. The use of water, however, as a therapeutic element dates back to ancient times. From Asia to Greece, as early as 2400 BC, immersion in water wasn’t viewed just as a religious experience, but also as a healing one. By 1500 BC, water was used to reduce fevers, and by 800 BC, it was specifically prescribed for health in the warm water springs of what became modern-day Bath. The Greeks and then the Romans believed that water had curative powers, using it to treat arthritic joints and to cure other debilitating conditions. In the 1700s, water became even more popular as a healing method with the development of hydrotherapy by German doctor Sigmund Hahn.

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