Water Aerobics

Like music? Low impact activities? Like the pool but don’t necessarily want to swim laps. Give water aerobics a try! Water aerobics, also called ‘aqua aerobics’ is a great excuse to jump in the pool and get some movement in your day. There are options for all ages, including water aerobics classes for seniors. If this sounds like the activity for you, learn how to give it a try below.

On this page we look at:

  • How This Girl Can Ambassador Natalie started to love water aerobics, after being unsure about trying it at first
  • What is water aerobics?
  • The many health benefits of water aerobics
  • Finding a water aerobics class near you

Get inspired to do the activities that suit you and keep you feeling good: sign up to our newsletter here.

Natalie loves water aerobics because it brings women together

Natalie started water aerobics classes for the women in the small rural town of Manangatang to get local women off their farms and into the pool together, despite their initial reservations. “You can feel quite vulnerable in the water, because you’re only in your bathers…but if we can get them there, they tend to come back,” Natalie said. Thirteen years on, the class is still going, and it’s fondly referred to as ‘coffee club’ by local women who look forward to socialising together afterwards.



What is water aerobics?

Water aerobics is a type of group fitness class with a little difference: you do the class in the pool!

There are a wide range of water aerobics you can do, which can include anything from low-impact movement for seniors to fast running or cycling training. There’s also a variety of water aerobics exercises with weights like kickboards, aqua dumbbells and hydro discs.

A typical water aerobics class happens in the shallow end of the pool where an instructor will guide you through water walking, leg lifts, bicep curls and moves with pool noodles and water dumbbells.

A great thing about these classes is you don’t have to bring any equipment to your water aerobics class – it’s all supplied for you. Including the water aerobics routines with music!

The physical and mental benefits of water aerobics

There are water aerobics benefits for women of all ages, including seniors, regardless of what type of class you’re doing. Water aerobics is great for:

  • Improving your balance and coordination
  • Improve body mobility
  • Enhancing recovery from injuries and chronic conditions
  • Increasing your daily movement without worrying about getting hurt
  • Relaxing your mind
  • Managing stress and anxiety

Releasing some energy, having a splash around and giving your muscles and joints some love feels good!

Where to do water aerobics near you

Water aerobics classes are run by individual swimming pools around Melbourne and regional Victoria. The best way to get started is to search online for facilities to see what they have to offer.

Another way to find an aqua aerobics class near you is to ask your local council. Many have online resources and class timetables available which are great for beginners. Know Your Council is a good place to start if you’re not sure which council area you’re in.

When you’ve found a great water aerobics class to join, why not ask a friend to join? You can also go on your own – you’ll meet other supportive women having a great time getting active, who also love to be in the water as much as you do.

Have a go at water aerobics today

  • Visit Find Your Council to see which council area you’re in to find out more information
  • Google it! Water aerobics classes are run by local swimming pools and facilities. Many have online timetables, so you can find a beginner aqua aerobics class to have a go at.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood: see if there’s a swimming pool or facility who has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women about water aerobics – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

You might not be able to make it outside at the moment, and that’s okay. If you want to find ways to get active at home, there are several things you can do.

If you have a pool, you can look up water aerobics routines online and browse water aerobics videos to find some you’d like to try. There are lots of pool exercises for women and seniors that you can try to get your body moving.

If you don’t have a pool, don’t stress – there are lots of home workouts you can do to get  active without leaving your front door.

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

Water aerobics might be your next favourite activity. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop there! If you feel like trying another sport or activity too, here are a few you can have a go at and see what you enjoy most.

Outrigger Canoeing

Want to get out on the water, get some exercise and feel the wind in your hair? You could try outrigger canoeing, also known as ‘waka ama’. When a crew paddles in sync, it can feel like you’re flying!

Outrigger canoeing is similar to rowing or kayaking, as it involves paddling in a boat. The water sport let’s you work as a team and see some beautiful scenery in the process.

On this page we look at:

  • How This Girl Can Ambassador Chiquita turned 40 and tried the sport, even though she didn’t feel she was ‘the sporty type’
  • Joining a women’s outrigger canoeing club in Victoria
  • What is outrigger canoeing, and what does ‘outrigger’ mean?
  • What to wear when going outrigger canoeing
  • Finding a club and where to go canoeing in Victoria
  • Can’t get out right now? At-home tips

Get inspired to do the activities that suit you and keep you feeling good: sign up to our newsletter here.

Chiquita said ‘stuff it’ and gave outrigger canoeing a go, even though she never felt like someone who was sporty

Chiquita never thought she would be the kind of person to play sport, but as she approached her forties things changed. “As I believed in myself more, I thought ‘stuff it’, I’ll give that a go,” said Chiquita. Now outrigger canoeing – or ‘waka ama’ – connects her to nature and her Polynesian culture, and she says it “feels like flying”.

Joining a women’s outrigger canoeing club in Victoria

If you’re up for a ‘paddle’ you could give canoeing a try. There are inclusive canoeing communities in Melbourne that always welcome beginners, so you’ll be in good company from the moment you walk into a club or group.

Paddle VIC provides information, news and resources to get you started with canoeing and kayaking. This is a good place to start, as they can direct you to skills programs and sessions for beginners to get you into a boat and on the water.

There are many outrigger canoeing clubs for women that can be joined too. There are clubs in Melbourne as well as areas like Geelong, Torquay, Patterson Lakes and more, search online to find an outrigger canoeing club near you

Outrigger programs at local clubs offer recreational and competitive canoeing, with different sizes of boats and crews. They’re open to all ages, so get involved and see which one you like.

What is outrigger canoeing and what does ‘outrigger’ mean?

Outrigger canoeing is similar to rowing or kayaking, as it involves paddling a boat. What makes an outrigger canoe unique, is its structures attached to the sides of the boat to keep it extra stable and afloat on the water. ‘Outrigger’ is the name of this part of the boat which also looks like ‘leg’ that stands out.

The origins of outrigger canoeing come from New Zealand and Polynesia. These forms of boats were traditionally used to travel back and forth between the 2 countries.

Canoeing and kayaking are great sports that can be enjoyed in a team or in a boat by yourself. It’s great for building upper body strength and heart health, or it can be a lovely day out on the water, chatting to new friends and enjoying the views!

Women's rowing club

What to wear when outrigger canoeing

Being out on the water, many paddlerslike to wear shorts made of wet suit material. They’re easy to dry off at the end of the day, and yes, they also prevent chaffing!

You can also wear regular bike or gym shorts, however it’s a good idea to have a thicker material. The colder the water, the more cover you’ll need on your body to be comfortable. You’ll also need some shoes that don’t mind getting wet.

You don’t need to provide any more outrigger canoeing equipment, as clubs usually do this for you. This includes a personal flotation device (a lifejacket) which you will need to wear at all times when on the water.

Finding a club and where to go canoeing in Victoria

  • Visit the website mentioned on this page: Paddle VIC (or if you’re ready to look for canoeing spots, check out the Visit Victoria website’s information on kayaking and canoeing).
  • Google it! Have a look around at different local clubs and social canoeing groups in Victoria. If there isn’t a canoeing club near you, you may need to go a little further out. But the journey there can also be part of the fun, and you’ll get to explore some new scenery.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood: see if an outrigger canoeing club for women has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women about going canoeing and kayaking – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

We can’t always get out of the home to go canoeing or join a club, and that’s ok. You can still find ways to get started, and keep active until you can go out again.

If you’re new to outrigger canoeing and kayaking, you can check out some online videos and do some research about the skills that are needed. This way you’ll have a bit of a head start when you do get out on the water. You can also start looking for the best canoeing and kayaking locations in Victoria to visit.

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

You might want to try another sport to find one that you like to play. Here are some you can have a go at. It doesn’t matter how you look or whether you make a mistake or not, all that matters if you’re giving it a shot.

Paddle Boarding

Love your watersports or being by the beach (or on the river)? Paddle boarding has a range of health benefits that make it a great activity for your body as well as a splashingly good time.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried paddle boarding before, or haven’t heard of it until now. Paddle boarding is low-impact, easy to learn and can be enjoyed as part of a club, socially with friends, or even when you’re craving some me-time outdoors.

On this page we look at:

  • How This Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Lisa found confidence later in life to get back on the water and combine getting active with her love of the ocean
  • What paddle boarding is, and why it’s great for your body
  • Social paddle boarding and finding a paddle boarding club

Get inspired to do the activities that suit you and keep you feeling good: sign up to our newsletter here.

How Lisa built her confidence back to get on the water again with paddle boarding

Although Lisa, 52, grew up around the ocean, it took her years to build the confidence to get back on the water. She always thought she couldn’t stack up to the blokes or stand on a board – but she can! Lisa’s never had body image issues and reckons “a bikini body is just a body you put in a bikini!”

What is stand-up paddle boarding?

As the name suggests, stand-up paddle boarding is a fun activity on the water where you’re standing up on a board. You stand at full height, and use a ‘paddle’ to move your way through the water. It’s also sometimes referred to as just ‘paddle boarding’, or even sometimes it’s just called ‘sup’.

While there are some competitions available, paddle boarding is mostly about enjoying being in touch with the water, and having a great view of the surrounding scenery. You can go at your own pace and it’s gentle on the body.

You might wobble a bit at first as you find your balance, but that’s completely normal! Once you learn to ‘sup’ and pick up some stand-up paddle boarding tips, you’ll be gliding around feeling great.

Finding a paddle boarding group for women and having a go

Here are some tips to get started learning to paddle board and finding groups to connect with.

  • Coasting SUP (Surfing Victoria’s introductory program SUP program for women) is a fun way to find some ‘you time’ in the great outdoors. It provides some paddle boarding classes to get you going, and you can meet some new people too.
  • By searching online you can find a range of companies and organisations offering paddle boarding for women. They’re set up for beginners, and can’t wait to show you a few techniques.
  • There are a range of social paddle boarding groups in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Have a look around a contact your local association or even your local council for more information. Where there’s a river or ocean, there’s usually a paddle boarding group nearby.
  • Once you’ve had a few paddle boarding classes, you can buy your own sup board and head out on your own. How good is that? You can ask your local paddle boarding group or find a local retail store to help you find the best beginner sup board for you.

Finding paddle boarding groups and locations near you

  • Visit the website mentioned on this page: Coasting SUP.
  • Google it! Search to see what paddle boarding classes and groups there are near you. There are a range of beautiful river and beach spots in Victoria, so have a look around to find where to do paddle boarding in an area that’s not too far away.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood, to see if a paddle boarding group has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women about paddle boarding – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

You may not be able to make it out at the moment, or maybe you’re not near water to go paddle boarding. That’s okay, there’s plenty to keep your ‘sup’ dreams alive while you’re at home.

There’s a lot you can learn about stand-up paddle boarding online, so you can watch a few videos to learn some paddle boarding tips and techniques. Or if you love an adventure, you can start researching the best paddle boarding locations to try.

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

There are many activities and water sports you can try to get more active, either by yourself or with friends. Here are some more you might like to have a go at to see what you enjoy doing.

Surfing

Surf’s up! Immerse yourself in the ocean and learn to shred some waves, while making new friends and getting a great workout. With many Victorians living close to the coastline, surfing is a skill that can stay with you for life and it’s never too late to learn.

While you might think surfing is a skill you can’t master – think again! There’s a whole range of women’s surfing communities ready to welcome you and teach you how to surf.

On this page we look at:

  • How This Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Emmie overcame her fear of looking silly surfing and learned to enjoy just being out there
  • Learning to surf with women’s surf lessons
  • Not ready to learn surfing quite yet? Learn paddle boarding and find a local group
  • What This Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Lisa thinks of ‘bikini bodies’ and who the ocean is for.
  • Find a women’s surfing group near you
  • Can’t get out right now? At-home tips

Get inspired to do the activities that suit you and keep you feeling good: sign up to our newsletter here.

Emmie overcame her fear of looking silly surfing and learned to enjoy just being out there

Emmie, 35, loved her water sports, but as she got older a fear of looking silly got in the way. One day, a friend convinced Emmie to give surfing a go and she immediately loved the challenge. It doesn’t matter if she looks ‘silly’ – even if she stands up for only a second, Emmie feels a real sense of accomplishment.

Learning to surf with women’s surf lessons

You might have been a surfer before, had a few surf lessons once or you might be a complete beginner. Wherever you’re at, that’s okay. You can learn to surf or return to it at any age. Here are some steps to get on that board and out in the surf:

  • Surfing Victoria offers some free resources about coaching and surfing lessons for women, and it’s a great place to start to see what’s happening near you.
  • Have a look around online to find surfing lessons and surf groups for women in your area. They’re set up for teaching surfing to beginners, so don’t worry – they’re ready to work with you to show you the ropes.
  • Ask at your local surf shop about women’s surfing classes and programs. They sometimes offer surf lessons themselves, or can refer you somewhere they know.
  • There are a range of women’s surfing groups in Victoria that love to welcome new members. Have a look around online to find some surfing communities that you might like to join, who share your passion for waves – and can help you learn some new surfing tips and tricks too. 

Not ready to learn surfing quite yet? Learn paddle boarding and find a local group

Stand-up paddle boarding is a fun activity on the water that’s low-impact and easy to pick up. It can be a great full-body workout as well, and you can go at your own pace. In fact, most people paddle board just to enjoy the scenery around them!

Paddle boarding, also called ‘sup’, is a water activity where you stand up on a board, specifically made, and use an oar to push yourself forward. It can be as hard or as easy as you like, making it great for all ages.

Coasting SUP (Surfing Victoria’s introductory program SUP program for women) is a great place to get started if stand-up paddle sounds like fun. You’ll get that much needed ‘me time’ outdoors, and can meet people with social paddle boarding groups.

What Lisa thinks of ‘bikini bodies’ and who the ocean is for

At first, Lisa was hesitant to give surfing a go, purely because she thought it was something only men did. “There is a lot of testosterone out in the water, and some days you can really feel it,” she said. “But the ocean belongs to everybody… it doesn’t belong to a particular gender.” These days, Lisa is carving up the waves and loving every second of it.

Find a women’s surfing group near you

  • Visit the websites mentioned on this page: Surfing Victoria or Coasting SUP.
  • Google it! There are plenty of surf schools for women and girls, and women’s social surfing groups out there. Have a look online to see what’s in your local area. Whether you’re surfing at 60 years old or learning to surf at age 40 or even 20, all that matters is enjoying the process and having some fun.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood: see if there’s a surfing club or local association who has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women about their experiences with surfing – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

If you’re not able to make it out to the beach to get your surf on, that’s okay. There’s plenty of other ways to get active and keep learning some surfing skills at home.

A great way to learn surfing or practice surfing tips and skills without the water is at home. Surf Better Now offers online coaching, You can find a great range of online videos with techniques to work on at home, so you can keep learning to surf – without the water!

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

You may also want to look at some other sports you can try to get moving in a way that you enjoy. As Tiff says, it’s not always about winning. It’s about how it feels, and giving something new a go!

Swimming

Looking for something low impact that’s still a great workout? Then it’s time to make a splash in your local swimming pool. If it’s your first time, don’t stress – there are plenty of adult swimming lessons in Victoria that will have you feeling confident in no time.

Splash into swimming for some refreshing time to yourself, to get active with a friend, or to  do some laps with a social women’s swimming group.

On this page we look at:

  • This Girl Can Ambassadors Karen and Michelle’s stories about finding a place to be themselves in the swimming pool
  • How to get started with adult swimming lessons for women – at any age
  • Finding women’s only pools near you

Get inspired to do the activities that suit you and keep you feeling good: sign up to our newsletter here.

For Karen, the swimming pool has become a sanctuary

It wasn’t until after Karen lost her leg at age 17 that she discovered her love of swimming. The world underwater became her sanctuary from people staring at her missing leg, and she loves immersing herself: “I don’t just love swimming in the water, I love jumping into it, diving into it, staying underwater…I like pretending I’m in another world.”



Learn to swim at any age, and find women’s swimming lessons near you

You can learn to swim at any age, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never jumped in the water before! There’s a local swimming community that’s waiting for you to get involved.

If you’re a beginner, there are a range of swimming lessons for adults near you in Melbourne and regional Victoria. All that matters is you’re up for giving it a try.

Most swimming pools and facilities in the state have swimming lessons. They’re also a great resource to find social swimming groups for women you can join to make some new friends while you learn how to swim.

Try YMCA Victoria to search for a local swimming pool in your area.

Women’s only swimming pools and sessions

Want to start swimming in a comfortable and welcoming environment? There are multiple women’s only swimming sessions held at pools around Victoria, as well as female only swimming classes. It’s a great way to get involved if you want to start swimming for the first time.

Search online for your local swimming pool to see if they offer women only swimming sessions. You can also try your local council, which will often promote women only sessions and events you can join.

Michelle found support and community with swimming

Michelle, 64, says she’s addicted to how exercise makes her feel. It’s helped her transition from a man into a woman. When her hormone treatment began, she put on weight – but despite worrying about what she looked like in swimmers, she hit the pool. And the self-proclaimed “grandma boogie-boarder” was amazed by the support she got.

How to make your move and have a go at swimming

  • Visit the website mentioned on this page: YMCA Victoria.
  • Google it! There are many swimming for beginners classes for adults, as well as ladies only swimming pool sessions near you. Have a look online to find one you might like to try.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood, to see if a swimming group has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women about swimming – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

Whether you can’t make it outside at the moment or the weather is getting in the way, there are other ways to get some movement in your day at home.

You can access Get Active @ Home for some easy, low-impact exercise routines to follow along with when it suits you in the day. You can also have a look around at online videos to see what sport or activity you feel like trying next.

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

There are many other activities you can have a shot at to get more movement in your day. Here are a few ideas if you feel like trying something new.