Exercising in Water

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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Member Comments

I started an aqua fit class this week after making excuses after two different surgeries. I have had the best time as we all seem to be over 50 and wanting to a have quality of life. Should have stopped the excuses years ago. Fun time Report
I exercise four mornings each week at the local YMCA. It's fun and I've met great new friends. Lots of social activities and after my Hydro Fit class I feel so energized! WooHoo! Report
Great Report
love water workouts. for those without a pool--rent one if you can Report
Really wish I had a pool! Report
.... and.... I am going to pool :) Report
I sure miss this class. Report
I love exercising in water but my friend whom I ride with doesn't like waiting for me while I take my shower.
She doesn't get in pool. Report
I wish I had a pool. Report
I've been utilizing our Rec Center pool for almost 4 years - thanks to Silver Sneakers. You can have as much or little interactions with others and choose to do classes or customize your own routine. I'm just recovering from surgery, so could not go to the pool, but will start again soon. Yeah!!!!! Report
I don't take advantage of this form of exercise. Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
Starting an aqua-exercise class this week. I hope it works out well and that it will be fun as well as beneficial . Report
GREAT Report
I miss my aerobics class in water. Something at my gym happened to our pool and no one seems to know what it is. Report


About The Author

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