If you are health conscious and want to shed those extra pounds or stay in shape, nothing beats swimming. While going for a dive in the pool is always fun and of course refreshing, at times just swimming up and down the lanes can become monotonous and a bit boring. So, why not switch to working out in the water.
Exercising in the pool is one of the most therapeutic activities. Pool exercises help in building strength and resistance and are easy on the joints. The fact is that the traditional impact we place on our joints during a ‘land workout’ can be taxing. But during aquatic exercises, water places an upward force and one can experience as much as 90 per cent less weight when in the water. This makes water exercises an ideal activity for a low impact water workout. And the best part is that water is naturally supportive. If you lose your footing on land, gravity will take over and you will most likely fall and injure yourself. However, in water you don’t have to worry about falling, as water supports you throughout your exercises. Instep gives you a lowdown of the benefits of water exercises…
Water is a flowing and constantly changing product of nature, and as such can be every unpredictable in its movements. Since water flows in multiple directions, the resistance in the pool can range from 4 to 42 times greater than air. This ensures that muscles in the body get a rigid workout.
Bid adieu to stress
Like any regular exercise, pool workouts are great stress relievers. There is nothing more soothing then a dunk in the pool. Various researching has shown that aquatic exercises significantly help in decreasing anxiety and negative mood states, particularly in women. It is known to renew your energy levels and stimulate the brain to release chemicals that make the body feel good. When performing pool exercises in warm water, the movement of water against and over the body results in both massage and relaxation.
Did you know that water exercises can actually burn calories? Water has greater resistance than air, which means walking in water requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than walking on land. The combination of strength and cardio workouts mixed with water resistance in aquatic exercise ensures the body is getting a full workout. Depending on cardio activity, weight (such as dumbbells), water temperature, volume and buoyancy, the body can burn between 400 to 500 calories in an hour of exercise.
Poor flexibility can limit mobility, reduce balance and coordination, which can ultimately contribute to falls. Water exercise is an easy and effective way to enhance flexibility because of the unique environment that water provides. The buoyancy provided by water enables you to move in ways you might not be able to move on land. During aquatic exercise, the body is subjected to water resistance, which requires movement in various directions while adjusting to the push and pull of water. This helps the joints to naturally enhance their range of motion, thereby increasing the body’s flexibility.
Easy on the joints
Aquatic exercises are incredibly easy on the joints. These low-to no-impact, non-weight-bearing activities make it possible for those who are overweight, pregnant, injured, or experiencing chronic joint pain to comfortably move in the pool. Studies show that water-based exercises relieve pressure placed on the joints from normal wear-and-tear and arthritis. In fact, hydrotherapy is shown to be the leading form of therapy for those suffering from joint problems such as arthritis, joint replacements and balance conditions.
For a healthy heart
Water exercise can get your heart pumping and your vascular system starts working in order to pump oxygenated blood to your working muscles. And anytime you perform sustained exercise lasting longer than 10 minutes, you’re engaging your cardiovascular system in a manner that can improve heart health.