As we breeze on into spring, and the days become warmer and longer, the idea of jumping back into the pool or ocean becomes a realistic weekend option! With this in mind, we explore the concept of water exercises, their benefits and some tips to get started.
Studies have found regular aquatic exercise helps improve strength, especially of the upper limbs. It also reduces body fat mass and blood pressure.
Because the water acts as a form of resistance, your workout can be simplified by varying the intensity of your workout and challenging muscles that are harder to engage out of the water.
The impact of gravity isn’t as great in the water, meaning you are able to move your body through a wider range of motion, improving flexibility. This also means exercising in water is low impact – ideal for people who are overweight, obese, elderly or suffering from joint pain.
Ultimately, aquatic exercises are suitable for almost anyone, and you can easily tailor them to any fitness level. Below we share some of the top reasons why you should consider giving it a go!
1. It supports your whole body:
When you immerse yourself, water comes from all vectors and angles, and acts as a support for your whole body, particularly your back. Because water is distributed around your body, it provides buoyancy and takes the pressure off your joints. If the pool you are exercising in is warm, it can help increase blood circulation. Exercising in cold water also has its benefits, with research showing regular immersion in cold water helps boost the body’s levels of the antioxidant glutathione. This helps regulate all the other antioxidants in the body, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
2. It’s good for the heart:
In Australia, heart disease is the leading cause of death for Australian men and the second-highest cause of death for women. Therefore, making heart-healthy exercise a priority is incredibly important. Water exercises – like swimming laps, kicking water, water running and so on – all get your heart pumping. Studies have found sustained exercise, lasting longer than 10 minutes, engages your cardiovascular system, which can improve heart health.
3. It’s a great calorie burner:
Water has greater resistance than air, which means any exercise – whether that’s walking, sidestepping or jogging in water – requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than if these exercises were performed on land.
4. It builds strengths:
Water exercises can provide a demanding and full-body workout. Water’s resistance is a fantastic tool to help tone, build muscle, improve strength and power.
Now the weather is warming up, why not take the pressure off your next work out, and head to the pool or a beach. Before you put your toe in, be sure to brush up on safety tips for both pools and open water.