Aquatic classes boost mood, brain function

August 30, 2016


Injury Prevention and a Healthy Brain with Aqua Classes

Healthwise, adding water-based exercises to your routine can help you make a splash now and several years down the road.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aquatic exercise can protect and heal both the body and the mind. Studies have shown that participation in an aquatic fitness program can lead to:

  • Improved mood
  • Improved quality of life for individuals with fibromyalgia
  • A healthier mindset for expectant mothers
  • Increased bonding between children with developmental disabilities and parents

Water workouts are also a great choice for injury prevention.

Take a look below for more details on why signing up for an aqua class is a no-brainer.

Improved overall cognitive functioning

Along with strengthening and toning your body, aqua classes can also keep your brain healthy. Several studies have shown that regular exercise of any kind can improve memory, thinking skills and overall cognitive functioning.

One study also showed that even brief water-based exercise intervention improved cognitive functioning in women with fibromyalgia.

Injury prevention

If you love pounding the pavement, cross-training through aquatic exercise can prevent and remedy issues that come with high-impact exercises. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, male long-distance runners experienced faster recovery from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) when following downhill running with aqua exercises.

Along with alleviating stiffness and soreness, the study concluded that the use of aqua exercise can restore muscle power and “recovery of whole-body reaction time” more quickly.

Better mood

In general, exercise has been shown to work wonders in easing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals known as endorphins, which can be enhanced by the social aspect of group classes.

“Laughing and watching everybody splash around and having fun — it’s just very calming,” Phillips said.

For those with depression, it can be difficult to find motivation to exercise. However, exercising in the water provides a gentle, soothing environment that has been shown to reduce symptoms. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that both yoga and aquatic exercise alleviated symptoms in females with multiple sclerosis (MS) when used as a complement to other treatments.

Another study published in Arthritis Care & Research found that deep water running exercises were a safe way to improve anxiety and depression in participants with fibromyalgia.

Both of the aforementioned disorders are marked by persistent fatigue, pain and issues with mood.

Get Started

Columbia Association offers a bevy of group fitness classes and personal training options to help you make a splash. Click here to learn more about CA’s health and fitness services.

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