Water aerobics have a reputation for being the workout of choice among senior citizens, but new trends like Aquapole, which takes the popular pole dancing class into the water, are bringing new interest to pool workouts. Created in Italy, the classes are now available worldwide and target the belly, shoulders, hips and heart. Whether you go old school and swim a few laps in the community pool or try out a fitness class, the benefits of water aerobics make them ideal for all age ranges and fitness levels. Read on for five reasons you should consider switching up your workout this summer.

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Helps With Arthritis

The Centers for Disease Control advises water-based exercise for people dealing with arthritis. Research has shown that these workouts can prevent symptoms from getting worse and actually improve joint mobility. For osteoarthritis sufferers, exercising in the water can help with pain management, too.

Easy On Joints

Arthritic patients aren’t the only ones who need to worry about joint health. Cardiovascular activities such as running and Zumba are notably high impact, which could result in injuries. “When you do an exercise on land, like jogging, you get an impact on your joints," Torben Hersborg, an osteopath from the Central London Osteopathy and Sports Injury Clinic, explained to The Daily Mail. “But when you exercise in the water, you don't have any gravity forcing your body weight down onto your joints.” In fact, the paper reports that the buoyancy of the water can reduce joint impact by 85 percent.

Boosts Mental Health

In general, exercise is linked with a rosier outlook. However, research has found that underwater fitness can decrease anxiety and depression for patients with fibromyalgia. The activity has also been shown to improve the health of pregnant women and their unborn children. Water has long been linked to less stress and higher levels of happiness.

Plus, swimming is actually fun. “People tend to enjoy swimming more than running or bike-riding,” Hirofumi Tanaka, a professor of kinesiology and director of the Cardiovascular Aging Research Lab at the University of Texas, told Time. Tanaka explains to the magazine that 50 percent of exercisers give up a new program within months, but swimmers usually stick with their workouts.

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Assists With Weight Loss

According to the Cleveland Clinic, pool exercises burn between 400 to 500 calories per hour. As water has 12 times the resistance of air, you’ll benefit from both a strength and cardio workout. No equipment is necessary but incorporating kick boards, hand-held paddles and foam noodles can intensify your workout for an extra calorie burn.

Improves Posture

Office workers usually spend hours hunched over their keyboards. A researcher at Indiana University who wrote a scientific handbook about swimming told Time he believes that switching up your position to work out horizontally could actually alleviate some of the damage associated with desk jobs.

“There’s no hard impact on your back like there is with running, and instead of being bent forward like you would be on a bike, your back tends to be arched slightly in the opposite direction,” Tanner said.

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