Aquafit is one of GO Gateshead's most popular classes. It's not that exercising in water is anything new or groundbreaking. Swimming has been around since... well, forever - long before anyone was having fun in our pools.

We think it's partly because Aquafit is something different. It's not quite swimming and it's not what you typically think of as a fitness class. It's somewhere in the middle of the two - full-body aerobics in water. But being different can only carry you so far. Chocolate-flavoured crisps were different, but you don't see people flocking for those these days. Aquafit brings with it many benefits, and these are what keep people coming back for more every week, sometimes more than once.

Allow us to fill you in on what these benefits are.

1. Aquafit is for everyone

Not every fitness class can claim to be for everyone. Some classes are too easy for some, and too difficult for others. Some are way too sweat-inducing for people. Others are too stressful on the body. Aquafit is perfect for everyone - whether you exercise every week or are getting active for the first time in your life. All fitness levels can take part. You don't need to worry about being a swimmer either. Lessons are purposely held in shallow water so that they're inclusive for all.

2. It's friendly on the joints

Exercising on dry land, particularly in activities that involve running, puts strain on joints that impacts the body negatively over time. Repetitive impact causes neck, back and legs to tighten, leaving them more susceptible to injury. That's why it's as important to rest as it is to exercise. Aquafit lifts the gravity forcing weight down on your body and reduces impact on joints by 85 percent. 

The low-impact nature of Aquafit makes it a great activity for anyone recovering from injury. It's ideally suited to suffers of chronic joint conditions such as sclerosis or arthritis.

3. You don't get all sweaty

A full-body workout that won't make you all red-faced and sweaty. How good is that? It's not that you don't sweat during Aquafit, it's just that water is great at regulating body temperature and wicking away sweat. You'll still be burning those calories, though, so you'll need to keep well hydrated.

4. It's a full-body workout

Don't let a lack of visible perspiration trick you into thinking you're not doing enough. Just because Aquafit is easy on the joints, doesn't mean you aren't seriously working those muscles. Every movement is Aquafit is met with resistance from the water, which builds muscle and increases flexibility. The extra pressure from the water makes muscles work harder, which in turn makes the heart work harder. And when the heart's pumping, calories are burning.

5. You'll feel better mentally

Aquafit improves your mental health. It decreases anxiety and depression and boosts mood. This isn't us just speculating, these benefits were found in a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US.

6. Aquafit is fun

If it wasn't fun, you wouldn't find it anywhere near a GO Gateshead leisure centre. Aquafit is a get together of friends and like-minded people. Everyone's there to enjoy being active. The music is good and our instructors are upbeat and enthusiastic throughout. Your one hour of exercise flies by!

Find a class near you and come try it out. You'll be glad you did.

Find an Aquafit class