correctly, water workouts can give you gains similar to those
on land, including aerobic fitness, muscular strength and
endurance, flexibility and better balance. Darcy Reber, family
medicine provider at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon
Falls, Minn., recommends aquatic exercise because:
Water’s buoyancy supports your weight. When you’re
submersed up to your neck, the water cancels out about 90
percent of your body weight, significantly reducing stress on
your weight-bearing joints, bones and muscles. Instead of
landing on a hard surface with the impact of your full weight,
you land with only 10 percent of your bodyweight. This reduces
risk of injury.
you’re submerged in water, your circulation may increase,
improving your cardiovascular health.
pressure of the water on your body can reduce swelling if you
have painful injuries.
Water offers resistance, which strengthens your muscles as you
push against it.
Since the effects of gravity diminish in water, you can do
stretching exercises that you may not be able to do on land.
want to start with water walking. In water that's about
waist-high, walk across the pool swinging your arms like you
do when walking on land. Avoid walking on your tiptoes, and
keep your back straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles to
avoid leaning too far forward or to the side.
increase resistance as your hands and arms move through the
water, wear hand webs or other resistance devices. Water shoes
can help you maintain traction on the bottom of the pool.
you're comfortable walking in waist-high water, try walking in
deeper water. As you walk, swing your arms. For a more intense
workout, consider jogging in deep water.
workouts can help you reach your fitness goals without pain or
injury. They can add cross-training variety to your existing
exercise routine or offer a safe and fun way to start an
exercise program. So, jump on in — the water’s fine.
live with a chronic health condition such as asthma, diabetes
or heart disease, talk to your health care provider about