Take your next workout to the pool and discover the unique benefits of aquatic exercise! It’s a fun and safe way to get a full body workout for people of all ages and fitness levels. Having a basic knowledge of how to swim is a good idea, but you don’t need to be a professional to participate since exercises are typically done in water that’s only waist or chest deep.
Let’s dive into ways aquatic exercise can benefit you.
It’s low-impact on the body. Movement in water takes pressure off your bones, joints, and muscles that we tend to place them under when performing exercise on land. This is all the more appealing to those with arthritis or in physical rehabilitation. There’s also less risk of injury with water exercise, since balance or falling and hitting the ground isn’t as much of a concern.
It helps build endurance, flexibility, and strength. Aquatics are energy-intensive total body workouts. Even simple movements like walking are more difficult in the water and so it doesn’t take a lot to get the body engaged. Water provides a natural resistance, activating and toning your muscles as they push against the resistance. And, since water lessons stress on joints and encourages movement, you generally have a better range of motion in water and your flexibility will also improve over time.
It’s great for your cardiovascular health. Swimming builds your heart muscle and improves overall blood circulation. While underwater, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease, allowing the blood to circulate more efficiently through your body (Source). Swimming also trains your body to use oxygen more effectively. Lowered blood pressure and heart rate, with improved breathing and blood circulation, all better allow your heart to do its demanding job with less strain.
It’s therapeutic. The benefits of aquatics go behind the physical to improving even your mental health and stress levels. Submerging the body in water is a natural way to reset your nervous system and its buoyancy helps to relax the body. With increased blood flow to the brain, your ability to focus, remember, and overall mood is improved. Aquatic fitness requires you to focus on your breath and encourages you to practice deep breathing, aiding in calmness and mindfulness.
The benefits of swimming and other aquatic workouts aren’t to be underestimated. It’s a particularly great option for those who struggle with mobility and stability, or for those who live with chronic diseases and even mental health issues. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with asthma, multiple sclerosis, and many other injuries or disabilities can participate and reap the benefits.
So, when you’re ready, pack a swimsuit for your next workout and don’t be afraid to get a little wet!