Friday, 29 April 2016

Aqua class

Did I mention to you that I love water!? I think I  may have once or twice...(or even a few more times) here on the blog.   However I didn't always. As a kid growing up, I was given the standard swim lessons that everyone had, but could never swim with my head underneath the water. It was only in my 20's (when I joined a triathlon club) that I learned how to breath and to do the crawl properly. It took months of coughing and spluttering before it all clicked in to place and I began to feel like a duck in water. I swam through each of my pregnancies, and after... (to get back in shape) and I feel like learning to swim has been a real blessing in my life. 
Now I know that some of you out there are probably saying in your head that you hate swimming and that you can't breath either and have perhaps given up on going to the pool to exercise.
But have you ever considered going to the pool to do a work out in the water instead?  

One of the things that I have been doing to maintain health and balance these last few years... is going to my favourite outdoor pool in Chesham. It is great to be in water but it is ever better to be in water OUTSIDE. The pool is hidden away in a little courtyard, surrounded by walls and in the summer they have the most amazing flower baskets hanging around, adding splashes of colour to accent the ultramarine blue water.  

I really dislike chlorine laden pools and another reason I like this pool is that it is virtually chemical free. It has a "Mineral Pure system" that uses copper and silver ionization to cleanse the water and reduces the amount of chlorine used by 70%... no more stinging eyes and smell of chlorine!
 I also like the way if makes me feel.... like I'm stepping back in time and leaving the world outside behind. I love the old style basket system that brings back memories from years ago... It feels Retro... but in a nice way!

 Each week I usually turn up early to plough up and down and do some lengths before attending the aqua class afterwards.
One of the reasons for attending the class was to build up some core strength and to use the pool as a recovery workout after the higher impact workouts that I do. It is friendly on the joints and the water provides some good resistance training to improve muscle strength. 
It is a great way to enable the "less flexible" a way of increasing range of movement..... you may not be able to do a tuck jump on land.... but you can in water!

Now you may be thinking that aqua class is ONLY for the "older" attendees who can't  perhaps do any other form of exercise... or for individuals who are carrying a little more weight, where normal exercise may not be a good idea... but there you would be dead wrong.    It may very well be a great way to ease in to other forms of exercise if you haven't been doing any, and it is also a good way to nurse injuries back to health  (believe me.... I'm a Physio!)... But, water exercise is for EVERYONE regardless of what fitness level or ability you may have.

The beauty is, that you can adapt the exercises to your own level and you can make it as easy or as hard as you like.
From the outside, looking on, it looks easy... and you may be forgiven for thinking that it just doesn't do much. That's one good reason why you have to go to a pool and try it for yourself.... you will soon find that the opposite is true.  

For beginners, the water resistance alone is enough for  you to feel like you've had a good session... but It is simple to make workouts going deeper in the water, doing the exercises quicker, or adding pieces of equipment to increase the resistance. 
You can find some great exercises on the internet and go down to your local pool by yourself to practice..... BUT It is always a good idea if you have any health concerns or musculo-skeletal pain, to find an instructor who can show you how to do the exercise  properly and adapt them to your capability and capacity.  

Throughout this last year, as the temperature became colder and the flowers faded.... the number of attendees dwindled.... but I was determined (together with a few other brave souls) to carry on throughout the winter, regardless of the weather, and  continue on with the class. A little extra jumping and leaping around in the water with extra vigour is a great motivator to try keep warm!  My shortie wetsuit came in useful and helped me to brave the coldest days.  Normally the pool is heated to a comfortable 28 degrees.... but when the boiler broke a few months back it plummeted to an invigorating 20!

I imagine that it is the thought of jumping in to cold water that puts a lot of people off... but it's really not that cold... and there are always the nice warm showers for afterwards.
There is something magical about being outside in the water in the elements. I particularly love it when the beautiful Kite flies over the pool or the ducks swoop down and almost land. Most times that I have been to the pool the sun has managed to pop out from behind a cloud (if only for a minute)...and even if it rains... you are already wet!

Regardless of the weather I always have a great time and even on the coldest days I come out of a session feeling refreshed, energized and alive. 

Wherever you live, I would encourage you to go check out your nearest pool this week  and see what sessions they have on offer... and brave and go take that plunge! 


For those  of you readers who live locally, Chesham pool has a few free taster classes coming up on a Monday morning from 9.30 - 10.15 on the 9th, 16th, and 23rd of May... so why not come along and join us? If you want more information, you can find the pool website here.


  1. I've tried some pool exercise (physical therapy) and it was very tough exercise. It was very gentle on my joints, though. Thanks for sharing your great post at Together on Tuesdays!!!

  2. It's a fab rehab medium.... And fun too. Thanks for taking time out to stop in Lisa!

  3. I actually took an aquatics class thinking it would be easy since all the older ladies were doing it. Boy was I surprised when I got out of the pool and my legs felt like jello!! What I loved about it was that it didn't feel difficult at the time, but when your done you feel the effects of the workout. Thanks for sharing over at Coffee For Your Heart!

    1. Hubby came with me the other week and he was suprised how sore he was afterwards. He even said he might come again!

  4. I really need to try pool exercising. We have a pool but it usually isn't warm enough until the 1st of June.

    1. Hi Deborah. You should read my next post on water therapy.... And the benefits of cold water!

  5. Hello from your neighbour on Thursday Favourite Things!

    Looks like a lovely pool! I was a swimmer when I was a teenager and I used to love aqua aerobics but I find it hard to find the time to fit it in now...

    1. That's such a shame. I'm sure you would still love it. Hope you find the time again real soon.

  6. Your post brought back memories of a time my husband and I were members of a health club with machines and a pool. We would do the stair stepper, tread mill, and then go for a swim. A refreshing shower after wards, and then a change of clothes. Then my hours at work changed, and we had to drop our membership. Now that I am retired, I should take this up again. Thanks for sharing with us here at Tell me a True Story.

  7. Great idea Hazel. You should! Let me know how you get on. X

  8. I did water aerobics with all three of my pregnancies. Not only were the classes fun but I met some of my best friends there! Thank you so much for sharing at Waiting on...Wednesday! I hope you'll join us again tomorrow!

    Holly @ While I'm Waiting

    1. It's a great way of keeping fit when pregnant. It's nice to feel light and free to move! Thanks for visiting Holly x


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