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

  • YMCA has a great water aerobic program. - 6/5/2016 1:53:37 AM
  • I miss the pool workouts more than anything... well, other than running! Don't have a pool, and can't run any more! Great Article!! - 5/11/2016 11:10:09 AM
  • I'm in the pool five times a week and LOVE IT! - 2/13/2016 1:07:41 PM
  • I probably would like exercising in a pool, but I don't have access to one. - 8/7/2015 11:33:33 AM
  • Water aerobics - my very favorite exercise! And I am lucky enough to live in FL 7 months of year where we have lovely heated pool at our resort. In summer, we live at our son's where he has lovely pool.
    For us older folks, you can't beat water walking and water aerobics!!! - 6/25/2015 10:22:10 PM
  • Water walking & water aerobics classes are great fun with all the benefits of being in the pool but without having to even get your head wet. :-) I'm not great at swimming & wouldn't stick with doing laps, but water exercises classes were terrific. Wish I still lived near a pool. - 6/24/2015 1:24:57 PM
  • Great idea, thanks! - 6/23/2015 9:17:08 PM
  • Having said what I did earlier I used to enjoy swimming as crap as I was at it, when I was younger. Too bad I hated the lessons I did take. Maybe some day I will take it up again. - 4/13/2015 9:17:18 PM
    I absolutely love the pool however I just CANNOT get my endurance up to swip laps. I can swim down to one end of the pool then I have to come up for air. I wish I could find a way to build it up. Been in the pool for years :( - 12/31/2014 1:31:17 PM
    Swimming is my Favorite Exercise - period ! - 11/14/2013 1:20:06 PM
    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
    Love aqua zumba, swimming vigorously, and aqua running in shallow to deep water with a belt - 10/6/2013 12:08:41 PM
    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 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

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