Fitness Articles

Exercising in Water

The Pool is an Underutilizied Piece of Workout Equipment

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Have you ever considered including water fitness into your exercise routine? This can be a great way to increase strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Plus, during the months of summer heat, what is a better way to keep cool?

Water has great properties; one of the best for working out is its resistance power. You can work opposing muscles at the same time. For example, if you are doing curls underwater, pulling up will work the biceps, while pushing down will build up the triceps.

Another great feature about water is its buoyancy, which is simply the tendency or capacity to remain afloat in a liquid. It reduces your weight, therefore putting significantly less stress on your joints, bones and muscles. Compared to other exercises such as running, there is no impact on any of your joints. It is estimated that body weight is compounded up to five times during the heel strike when running or jogging. This is avoided in water. Water fitness requires use of your core as well, that is, utilizing your back, abdominals and obliques. This muscle group is often ignored during other exercises.

There are many ways to get fit and stay cool in the water. Most obviously, perhaps, would be to swim laps or tread water. But you can also jog in the water. Additionally, there is a variety of products available that can increase the resistance in your workout, including buoyancy belts and dumbbells, gloves and noodles. You can actually lift weights underwater.

While exercising in water is totally different from exercise on land, your approach to water exercise should be the same. Continue to warm up and stretch before you start the workout. Maintain the same amount of repetitions you would for exercises out of the water. Also, continue to mix up the exercises you do. Your body needs a variety of exercises, regardless if it’s on land or in water.

Another bonus to water exercise is its usefulness during special circumstances. Ask any professional athlete and they will tell you water exercise is essential when dealing with an injury. It allows you to continue exercising without putting any stress on your injury, thanks to its buoyancy discussed earlier. Also, because your body is supported by water your heart rate is slightly lower, meaning aquatic therapy is relatively safe for obese individuals, pregnant ladies and those suffering from hypertension and heart disease.

Exercising in the water is easy, but for obvious safety reasons it should never be done alone. It’s easy to find someone to exercise with though. Look into classes at your local health club. If none are available or fit your tastes, just grab a buddy and find a pool. When summer ends, you don’t have to stop including water fitness as part of your workout routine. Find an indoor pool and keep going. Have fun enjoying the benefits of a refreshing workout.

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About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

Member Comments

  • RACEWELLWON
    Swimming is my Favorite Exercise - period ! - 11/14/2013 1:20:06 PM
  • BETTYCOOPER121
    I love swimming!! just love it. I have been doing it for last 10 years. It is the best form of exercise. - 10/25/2013 5:43:52 PM
  • EMERALDISLES
    Love aqua zumba, swimming vigorously, and aqua running in shallow to deep water with a belt - 10/6/2013 12:08:41 PM
  • DANDYDONNAJ
    Exercise must be fun for me, so I have fun doing Water Volleyball for 90 minutes, followed by 60 minutes of Aqua Zumba on Wednesdays.
    - 9/5/2013 11:58:54 PM
  • I 've been doing water aerobics for a few months now and I just love it. The water make my body feel so great. It's really a workout. - 6/6/2013 6:56:28 AM
  • GLENNASUESUE my pool trainer helped me - she suggested that I treat the pool treadmill as a 10-15% incline on regular treadmill and add 0.50 to the speed to adjust (example if i walked 25 min. on the water treadmill at 2.5 MPH with no incline.to count as land treadmill at 10% incline and 3.0 MPH)
    There is a water aerobic choice in the fitness choices that I use.

    NAIJAPIKIN please give the pool a try! I am in my mid fifties and I am not allowed to shave due to my lymph issues. I actually find that most ladies at my therapy pool don't notice and that when I use regular pools a long coverup helps me be discrete. I used to wear a tank with skirt suit - and noticed that many of the ladies do. You can get the skirt fitted or more draped. There are also Swim shorts at are available. The doctors don't want elastic at my upper leg anymore so I had to find a different way. Now I workout in a sheered tank top (it is kinda like a tank-tini top) and water capri that are a type of triathlon wear. They have suits called swimtards that are nice too as they go to the knee (similar to the suits that the Olympians wore)

    Hope this helps! - 11/12/2012 12:11:21 AM
  • Hi,
    For those of you who asked what you could do in a jacuzzi, if it is big enough ( & you are alone in it, of course) I go & do a handstand sorta. With my arms behind my back I support myself & I move & kick my legs continuously.I don't knoww how many calories it burns, but I must be burning something!
    I bought hand weights from an aerobic instructor, they look like dumbells & that is my favorite way to work out in the pool. I do curls, jumping jacks, make wheels forward & backwards under water. I also do an exercise where I put my arms behind me, move my left arm & right arm towards the middle of my back. I do each of these exercises slowly, & I do 100 of each. While I move my arms, I am also moving my legs. That takes about 30 minutes. I have bad knees & can't do exercises that are hard on them, so this is the way to go for me. Hope this helps anyone who is interested in water aerobics !
    My weights were bought used from an aeriobics instructor, but I saw a weight set for 39.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond. That set has more things included, like weights around your ankles, but you could probably find water weights on line for sale.
    Hope this helps!
    For those of you that don't like how you look in a bathing suit, Think of it as exercise gear if you are working out !
    We Americans are sooo caught up in our body image.! That could be a good thing, but it could be a bad thing to !. 28 years ago, I was vacationing in Greece, 6 month after having my daughter, when I was thin & looking good. But I still had about 5 # of baby fat to lose, so I did not take a 2 piece swimsuit. When I hit the beach, I saw an old lady in her late 70's in a Bikini! I also saw a woman who had to be about 400# in a bikini! She had to have had the bikini specially made for her! But she was out there enjoying herself on the beach & she didn't care who was looking at her ! That experience stuck with me, & made me realize that we do need to love ourselves & our bodies, no matter what size we are. Just continue to keep working at getting healthier & losing weight, s... - 7/27/2012 7:27:42 AM
  • Exercising in the pool is awesome. It's one of my new favorite things to do. - 6/24/2012 8:28:46 PM
  • SANCHOMONKEY
    I've been wanting to jump in the water and exercise but of course I don't like the way I look in swimsuit. Lasst week I saw they were doing a Aqua Zumba class! Everyone was smiling and there were people bigger than me doing it! I'm going to try it tomorrow. This article was a good push for me! - 6/18/2012 3:24:20 PM
  • GLENNASUESUE
    I do water exercises all the time but can't find how to add them to the fitness plan. Please help me. - 5/20/2012 3:46:33 PM
  • I have not been able to bring myself to doing the pool. I will need to read a lot of articles to get me into starting, this is a good one. - 5/13/2012 11:09:06 AM
  • TANNOREED
    I just started the Arthritis Foundations Strength and Toning program. I love it! It felt so good to get some gravity off my body for an hour and a half. Can't wait till the next class on Monday! I'm still looking for swimming in the fitness trackers! - 5/11/2012 11:03:31 PM
  • I am too ashamed of how my body looks to be seen in public wearing anything except pants and long sleeve shirts. Swimming is not a choice for me. - 3/23/2012 6:27:48 PM
  • K_RENEE
    I've been doing water aerobics for the last few months and I love it!! It is such a good workout for cardio and it does work your muscles in a different way. - 10/16/2011 9:08:26 PM
  • I have been doing water aerobics for years and the testimony I could give would take too long to tell cause I've limited myself to 1 hr.AM and 1 hr PM on the computer for this week. - 10/7/2011 8:57:10 AM
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