Did you ever dream about becoming a mermaid as a kid? Now you can make that dream a reality. “Mermaiding” is a new trend in fitness, cosplay, and recreation for kids and adults — and you can do it, too.
It may sound silly, but mermaiding is both a hobby and a real profession. The Independent reports that there are now more than 1000 people in the US who “mermaid” for a living, donning fins and seashells to swim for birthday parties, aquariums, and much more. Mermaid instructors who teach kids and adults how to swim like the mythical sea creatures, and designers of the large single fins at the end of a mermaid’s tail, called monofins, round out the industry.
There are annual mermaid conventions in several states drawing hundreds of attendees, where hobbyists and professionals alike can participate in classes, compete in “Merlympics,” and purchase water-themed merchandise. Many professional mermaids also combine the skill with ocean education, sneaking science into an activity that may seem shallow on the surface (pun intended).
“I‘m passionate about enabling [students] to find freedom of movement in the water while having lots of fun,” Michaela Werner, founder of mermaid-workshop program No Ripples, told Ocean Fit. “Mermaiding is not a competitive sport, so it allows us to experiment, feel good and explore water in a totally new way,” she added.
Mermaiding isn’t just for fun though — there’s a long list of health benefits to the trend. Swimming with a monofin helps build stronger core and leg muscles, decrease back pain, and improve flexibility in the spine, hips, and shoulders, Werner attests.
Werner teaches classes for kids and adults, focusing equally on fitness and fun. She has noticed that “becoming a mermaid” motivates even the most water-shy kids to swim and quickly inspires confidence in shaky swimmers.
If you’re looking to get into mermaid fitness at home, check out “The 8-Week Mermaid Transformation Series” on YouTube. Created by tail company Fin Fun Mermaid and USA Swimming-certified coach Christine Dustin, the series provides three workouts a week, which can be practiced with or without a tail.
The workout is gentle on joints, low-impact, and unlikely to cause injuries. The water resistance makes for great cardio and helps increase lung capacity. That’s one of the many reasons it’s a great activity for all ages. As Dustin says, “Mermaiding is a lifetime sport.”
There are “Mermaid Schools” all over the US, Europe, and Australia now, including at select Walt Disney resort hotels. Aspiring mermaids ages 4 and up (there’s no maximum age) can pick out a swimmable tail and learn how to glide through the water. It’s a great introduction to this unique hobby, and may inspire kids’ interest in the ocean, swimming, and even mermaid cosplay.
Don’t knock it ‘till you try it — if it’s not your kid’s thing, mermaiding fitness might still be the fun, relaxing workout you’re looking for. Check out the workout series below, or go to finfabmermaid.com to find a mermaid class near you.