#1 Reduced Joint Impact
Buoyancy is the opposite of gravity and creates an uplifting force in the water that reduces or eliminates impact on feet, ankles, knees and hips. Exercising in water at chest depth means that you are only bearing 25-35% of your body weight. Water fitness is ideal for aging bodies because it provides opportunities to exercise vigorously without pain or joint discomfort.
#2 Water’s Resistance
When you exercise in the pool, all movements are performed in the thick, viscous resistance of the water. This total-body resistance is unique to water fitness, making it more effective than land fitness in improving muscular endurance and strength without the use of additional equipment. Simply put, the water itself is a form of fitness equipment.
#3 Balanced Muscles & Joints
All movements are resisted in the water and that means muscles on both sides of the joint are targeted. For example, performing arm curls in the water works both the bicep and tricep, improving muscular balance and joint integrity. Typically, posterior muscle groups atrophy more prominently as we age, leading to joint imbalances and musculoskeletal disorders. Water is the great equalizer.
#4 Zero-Gravity Fitness
Exercising in deep water means zero gravity and zero impact. If you gave up jogging because it hurts, the good news is that you can sprint as hard and as fast as you want in deep water. Deep water running with a flotation belt is a popular way to burn calories and get fit. Exercising in zero gravity provides athletic opportunities that could never be achieved in land-based exercise.
#5 Cross Training Advantages
If you are currently jogging, cycling or engaging in other land fitness activities, water exercise provides ideal cross training to break plateaus and limit joint impact. Alternating between gravity and buoyancy will expand your fitness opportunities and limit your risk of injury.
#6 Weight Loss
People often get discouraged trying to lose weight because they participate in exercise activities that are too strenuous or uncomfortable. Set yourself up for success and try exercising in the pool. Water fitness eliminates pain and discomfort thanks to reduced impact and the cooling factor, thus promoting exercise adherence and weight loss results.
#7 Injury Recovery
As we age, the biggest obstacle to maintaining regular exercise is injury. Physically active people become frustrated by what seems like a never-ending cycle of injuries that limits their fitness activities. Don’t get frustrated. Get in the water and modify your exercise in a safer environment.
#8 Supportive Environment
Balance often becomes an issue as people age. The fear of falling can prevent people from participating in an exercise program. The water provides a supportive environment in which people exercise with more confidence knowing that they aren’t going to fall and hurt themselves.
#9 Improved Daily Living
Water fitness allows people to exercise longer and with more intensity, improving muscular endurance and stamina, which helps them move better and live better. Water exercise also allows people to move their limbs more freely in multiple directions, improving range of motion and the ability to perform daily activities more efficiently.
#10 Feels Good
Exercising in the water simply feels good on the body and is fun. If you have access to an outdoor pool, there is nothing quite like the joy of exercising in the morning sunlight in the soothing comfort of water. Ask a friend to join you in a pool workout for some added socialization.
Interested in trying some workouts in your pool? The PoolFit App has a wide variety of workouts that will appeal to all fitness levels. Two new exercise videos post every month. Get ready to channel your inner athlete and transform your pool into a liquid gym.
Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.