Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Swim Social Blog: Try an Aquafit Class-it's surprisingly energising!

Blog by Anne Kane: Being a mum and having a job means it is difficult to find time for myself.  I’ve got good at fitting in me time around the kids and the half hour each of them takes for a swimming lesson give me time to do some laps. As we’re leaving the pool after the lesson there’s a group assembling for an aquafit class and it always looks like good fun.   I said its difficult to find time for myself, but it isn’t impossible – so with a little bit of diary shuffling with my husband, last week I made it to a class. 

Our local pool has a movable floor and it is set so that you can stand with the water up to your chest.  The class was busy with people of all ages in the water.  The instructor appeared with an ipod and a speaker and began by putting on some high energy music.   Our warm up involved marching on the spot and doing some lunges and squats. That got everybody loosened up and ready for some more vigorous exercise. 

We were then given tube shaped floats, which became like weights once you submerged them under the water. All of the machines I use in the gym have me fighting gravity – I’m pushing weights into the air and gravity is trying to pull them down to the ground.  In the pool, you’re fighing buoyancy – we’re trying to push floats towards the floor and buoyancy is trying to pull them to the surface. Don’t think about it too much – it gets a bit disorientating. But we did get a good workout on our arms, legs and tummy muscles. 

Next we were told to form a circle and hold hands. We started jogging sideways like crabs in a clockwise motion. This casued the water to swirl around and actually made the movement easier as the water started to carry us around. Then the instructor told us to move in the other direction, which wasn’t as easy as the water was then moving in the opposite direction. 

The hour long class passed reasonably quickly. Aquafit is a great fitness option if you’re starting out or looking for something that’s a little easier on the body than out of water aerobics. I can burn more calories swimming laps – up to 800 calories for an hour of lane swimming in the more versus 200 calories for aquafit. Aquafit is more social than lane swimming and I can see where it could fit into my fitness routine – I tend to feel tired after lane swimming, whereas I felt energised after my aquafit class.

That’s partly due to the exercises and partly down to the music – it makes a huge difference listening to tunes while doing exercise. Another great thing about aquafit is that nobody can see what you are doing under the water – if you struggle in the beginning to keep up with the movements, no one will notice. 

Most pools will offer water based fitness classes – contact your local venue to see what’s on offer and get yourself into the water at an aquafit class. 

If you enjoy aquafit but want to also try coached-led swimming sessions, take a look at the Skills & Drills Classes in your area here