Hackensmith: Let your worries — and some calories — float away at water aerobics

Published 10:19 am Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and take in as much sunshine and fresh air as possible before winter hits again.

My husband, Jordan, and I aren’t very ambitious when it comes to trying new classes or joining new groups, but when I saw the sign-up for the Austin Park and Recreation water aerobics class, I was eager to get him to join with me. To my surprise, he was very willing. So now every Tuesday and Thursday evening we get 45 minutes of water-filled fun.

I didn’t know what to expect when I joined the class; I just knew I wanted to try something different and I love swimming. I was nervous for our first time, but as soon as we hit the water it was obvious there was nothing to be afraid of, especially with an instructor as good and easygoing as ours.

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I was surprised to find a variety of ages at the Austin Municipal Pool when we attended our first class — with Jordan and I being 23, we expected to be the youngest of the bunch by a lot. Actually, there were several other attendees around our age, as well as women a bit older, and women many years older.

Jordan, however, is the brave token male in a group of about 15 ladies.

The activities our instructor runs us through seem fairly easy at the start of class — simple leg raises and a bit of jogging around in the water — but at the end of the workout I can feel my muscles have gotten a decent workout and my body is heated up.

The moves are simple enough for anybody to do in the water, which is easier on joints as well. With a large pool space and the option to be in the deep or shallow water, everyone can move at their own pace.

The class is full of giggles and chuckles as Jordan, the rest of the group and I try to mimic and learn our instructor’s movements while in the water.

There’s a lot of great options all around Austin for unique exercises this summer — don’t be intimidated by a new activity just because you haven’t tried it before, you might be the youngest there or you might be the only male.

A workout routine that’s already in place is no excuse to stay away from these classes, either. I work out almost every morning to a Jillian Michaels DVD, which usually leaves me breathless, sore and sweaty. While water aerobics hasn’t been nearly that intense so far, it is a great way to end the work day, shut off the mind, spend some time relaxing in the pool with a great group of ladies (and my husband), and listen to some hits from the 1980s. It’s also a good chance to work off the cookies I’ve eaten during the day lately.

True, you might end up hating it, but more than likely you’ll have attended something that was at least moderately fun, and you may fall in love with an activity like water aerobics and end up letting your worries — and some calories — float away on the waves.