Pools aren’t just a place to do laps anymore. Multiple aquatic exercises allow you to develop strength, flexibility, endurance, cardiovascular health, in fun group lessons or solo.
Welcome to the pool, the great equalizer, a place where people of all ages and physical abilities can have fun working out, and we’re not just talking swimming laps. Swimmers and non-swimmers alike head to the pool for exercise ranging from gentle aerobics to a more vigorous workout.
One can totally use the pool to explore both aerobics and resistance training. Quickly discover these two health secrets only possible at the pool.
Water is stronger than air
Water is significantly denser than air, nearly 800 times. This means that you can build muscle strength by moving through the water. One study showed that a long-term aquatic exercise program was actually more effective than land training for building muscle strength.
Buoyancy in water protects your joints and gives you support
Water exercises are popular with all age groups. They are especially helpful for people recovering from surgery or injury. The pool provides a safe place to keep moving, just choose your favorite aerobic activity or sign up for a class. Heated pools will also help you warm up your joints and muscles quickly.
People with chronic illnesses and joint problems can also benefit from regular swims in the pool. Research has shown that joint-friendly aquatic exercises can improve physical functioning in adults over 50.
Common water aerobic exercises
1) Running or jogging. They are excellent for cardiovascular health and allow you to resume a running program after an injury.
2) Walking in water. Generally practiced in water up to the waist, swinging the arms to the sides as one does when walking on land.
3) Aerobics classes. Offer a mix of exercises such as leg lifts, lunges and jumps.
Exercises with training equipment in the water
Water aerobics classes usually include basic pool equipment. Your local pool can also provide important equipment like bikes and elliptical machines. You can also buy equipment to help you improve the efficiency of your stay in the pool.
– Foam dumbbells. Light and easy to carry, but very heavy when you lift them underwater, dumbbells come in different resistance options.
-Weight of water. Strap-on ankle or wrist weights increase resistance to arm or leg movement in the pool. They are also available in a range of strength options.
– Flotation belt. These belts help you keep your head above water, when you have no more feet, while leaving your hands free. You can run, lift weights, and do other exercises using your hands.
Want to mix and match? Opt for an approach that divides your time between inside and outside the pool. For example, you can warm up in the pool by pacing back and forth, then jump out of the water to do push-ups, planks, or poolside lunges with your towel. Then dive back into the water to walk again.
The more you explore water exercises, the sooner you’ll focus on your favorite activities. Whichever you choose, research indicates you’ll experience health benefits, including greater strength and flexibility, better cardiovascular fitness, and even weight loss.