Summer temperatures are no excuse for skipping the gym or ditching your fitness goals. In fact, you can use the heat of the season to your advantage with one of the most underrated pieces of equipment in the gym: the pool.

Don’t believe me? I tried a 60-minute aqua fitness class, and here are five reasons why the pool can be your new favorite tool for making your resistance workouts more fun and challenging.

It’s a low-impact environment

Need a low-impact cardio workout to add into your weekly routine? Look no further than an aqua class. You’ll perform jumping jacks, high knees, kicks and more cardio movements, without the heavy impact that comes with doing the same workout moves on land. Plus, the added benefit of resistance means your limbs will work harder to move through the water, changing up the stimulus to the muscle and ensuring a good workout.

Your workout, your resistance

While aqua workouts require you to stand in water past chest height, the deeper you go, the harder the workout. (Think: The more water you’re forced to move through, the more calories your body will burn during your workout.) Choose your depth, then get ready to work harder the deeper—and lower—into the pool you go or move.

Stay cool this summer

If you don’t want to leave the gym only to walk out into high-temperature weather all sweaty, flushed and overheated, the pool is the place for you. Keep cool during your workout without sacrificing movement quality or quantity—and beat the heat with a workout that will actually keep your body temperature in check.

Little to no equipment required

Don’t worry about searching for or waiting for equipment to free up around the gym. In an aqua class, all you need is your body weight, the water and an optional “floaty” weight to get in a good workout. The added beauty of using your body weight and being in an aqua environment is the lower probability of causing or exacerbating an injury or physical limitation, which means you can keep showing up and putting in the work—no excuses!

It’s just plain fun

Who didn’t love spending summer afternoons splashing around in the pool as a kid? Relive your childhood with an aqua class as you splish and splash your way to a healthier, happier you!

Want to hop in the pool for your next workout? Check out the Group X class schedule at your local 24 Hour Fitness.

Photo credit: Jesper Stechmann, Unsplash