Love to swim? Looking to change up your workouts? Now you can do both at once with aquatic exercises. Exercising in the water has many advantages unavailable on land. First, warm water increases muscle circulation and relaxation. Water pressure can also help reduce swelling. Your body does not overheat as quickly either because the water works to both cool you and wash away perspiration. People with chronic pain usually have an easier time working out in water because the buoyancy puts less stress on joints and reduces the chance for injury. In addition to the health benefits of aquatic exercise, there are also several fitness related advantages. For example, resistance of water strengthens muscles in all directions, leading to a more productive workout. Your flexibility is also increased due to the diminishing effects of gravity in water. Depending on the level of intensity of the exercise, you can burn about 400-500 calories per hour.
There are a variety of aquatic exercises. Some are more traditional, such as pool running, water yoga and water pilates, while others have been created specifically for aquatic exercise such as Ai Chi Ne, Bad Ragaz, Feldenkrais, and Watsu. Pool running is a great way for runners to change up their workout because it uses all the same muscles as regular running, but can relieve tension built up in the legs. Water yoga and pilates both are very similar to their land counterparts. The extended range of motion under water helps increase coordination of your breathing and strengthens your abdominals. Most of the new exercises were developed to increase flexibility and reduce stress. They are quite popular with the elderly or those that can’t do hardcore land exercises. This summer, jump right in to take your workout to the next level!