You have probably heard of the benefits of aquatics (also known as aquatic exercise, water aerobics, and water exercise). But it is not always easy to find a place to do it – after all, most of us do not have pools in our living rooms!
As you are looking for a place for you or your family to get into aquatics, don’t forget about your local YMCA/YWCA. Programs tend to vary depending on location, but here are some of the offerings you may find at your local YMCA/YWCA. Regardless of location, you’ll need a “Y” membership to start.
1. Swim Lessons
Whether you are a beginner or advanced, the Y usually offers swimming lessons. they are for kids or adults, and can be elaborate or simple. There are often swim lessons even for babies 6 months and older, and for children over 6. The age of the swimmer is not usually important; they typically categorize swimmers by skill level rather than age (a 6 year old might be more skilled than some 12 year olds, for instance).
2. Pool Membership
If you just want to show up on your own time and do your own thing in the water, your local “Y” can fix you up with a pool membership. This just means that you can come and go as you like, whenever the pool is open. For those who have their own equipment or just prefer things to be unstructured, this might be a good option.
Pool membership is also a good, basic way to get your family involved. You could have a regular pool day where everyone goes to workout and/or play in the water. Remember, any time you move in the water you burn calories – so it’s okay just to have fun in the pool sometimes!
3. Water Aerobics
Adult water aerobics at the Y – sometimes called Swimnastics – is a fitness program that is geared toward promoting fitness for adults. Basically, it’s a low-impact aerobics class held in the water, with toning and cardiovascular health as the goals. Your Y may also offer Hydrofit, a more intense, vigorous workout for the whole body. Like Swimnastics, Hydrofit is a water aerobics class, but it is generally in the deep end of the pool and is a total body workout.
4. Swim Team
If your kids (or anyone aged approximately 5 to 21) completes the swimming classes with success, he or she can be on the swim team at the Y. On the swim team, your kids will get to travel, connect with other swimmers, and improve their swimming skills.