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heartHeart healthy is brain healthy. It seems to be the new prevention mantra, so this guest post by Kaitlin Gardner of AnApplePerDay.com is timely. Although there is no known, certain way to prevent Alzheimer’s, researchers believe that overall health and fitness is a big step in the right direction.

Further, caregiving is a high stress proposition. Caregivers are prime candidates for  burnout and stress related illnesses. Depression is understandably common, and as friends slowly drift away and loved ones demand more care, isolation can be a big issue. If any of this sounds familiar, think about aqua aerobics as a stress buster and mood booster! 

Why I Love Aqua Aerobics

poolBy: Kaitlin Gardner

I have been regular about exercise for many years. I’ve done a lot of different routines, from weight work to running. After a while, I found myself in a rut with my workout – I just needed a renewing spark for my exercise. That’s when I discovered aqua aerobics, and fell in love with this creative way to use the pool.

A good workout option. I first found the water when someone suggested I try aqua jogging. I went to the pool when the lap lanes were open and began moving up and down a lane with a good jogging motion. I got an excellent cardio workout and really enjoyed myself. I started reading about water workouts, and discovered that the heart rate is lower in the water than it is on land. It’s thought to be because of the lowered gravity, and the cooler water. The heart has to work less to get equivalent exercise just being in the water. Here are some resources I found which provide more details:

Lots of great choices. As I began to check out the different workout options available in the water, I was surprised by the range of choices. If I really need to work off some energy, I can always go to the aqua kickboxing class, or do a water weight routine. I haven’t worked up my courage to try the sexy hip swinging moves of Zumba yet, but it’s next on my list. The variety of workout options I can use keeps me motivated, and I always look forward to the next thing I can try in the water.

everythingIt’s just so fun. In the gym, it’s like everyone is in their own world – wearing headsets and doing their workouts without talking. Maybe it’s just because being in the water feels so natural, but people were just more friendly during workout classes. People were smiling and friendly, and they were glad to show me a move I didn’t know when the instructor called it out. I made a couple of new friends by the end of the first class. I also realized my legs were feeling the work we had done. The instructor reminded me that the resistance of the water meant we had to work harder than we might realize.

The low impact element. When I did lunges on land, my knees creaked, I think from so many years of running. A lunge is basically stepping forward on one leg, then returning to a standing position, and stepping out with the other leg. In the water – it was a whole different experience. I still got the exercise out of it, but the landing of my foot in the water was so gentle I absolutely loved it. Now I do lunges in the water whenever I can.

stressStress relief. If I’m in the middle of a really hectic day, a water workout is a great solution to bleed off some stress. I have three favorites – aqua walking, aqua yoga or tai chi. Any of them will bring me a lot of relaxation. If it’s hot in the summer, going for a walk in the lap lanes at the pool is very soothing. The slow and rhythmic moves of yoga or tai chi are wonderful to help me relax, but the benefit is compounded because the water is so soothing. After a workout, it’s hard to remember why I was so stressed.

Aqua aerobics came along just when my exercise needed a recharge, and I’m so grateful. I love workouts in the water and now they are a regular part of my routine.


Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.