It’s proven: doing water exercise two to three times a week can have significant improvements in strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. It can also decrease the risk of disability, improve balance, and increase your ability to perform daily activities with ease (source).
I reached out to my clients at Tidewater Preserve to help explain the benefits of water exercise through their personal experience. Here’s the top 7 benefits they spoke about:
1. Less joint impact
The buoyancy of the water reduces joint loading, which is particularly beneficial after joint replacement as well as to help manage chronic pain. “Less joint stress” was reported by all of my clients as a key benefit. Here is what Janice had to say: “Water exercise was recommended by my doctor. After three knee surgeries, it is the only low-impact exercise I can do.”
2. Total body training
Water provides multi-directional resistance, making it easier to enjoy a more balanced workout. For example, on land arm curls targets the biceps both on the way up to lift the weight against gravity and on the way down to control against gravity. In the pool, it’s different; resistance is everywhere. Try this same move: on the way up, biceps work against water’s resistance, but the triceps must engage to resist against water on the way down. “Water exercise gives me a full body workout. I have gained strength and stamina!” – Lori H.
3. Reduce joint and muscle pain
Gentle exercises help to improve circulation and hydrate the muscles. Multi-directional moves help to pump nutrients to the joints helping to reduce joint and muscle pain. Anita (my client) experiences constant arthritic knee pain (from all those airplane jumps she took while serving our country – Anita thank you for your service!). She says: “Water exercise is the only exercise that makes my knees feel better.”
4. Gain more mobility
We can move more freely in water. Regular participation will reduce stiffness and make movement on land more comfortable. “Water exercise helps keep my back limber.” – Carlene G.
5. Improve heart health
Water exercise is a great low-impact aerobic activity. Depending on your fitness level, options from walking to high intensity intervals – each have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. Even my very fit, 20 year-old client says: “I get a great cardio workout in the pool … just the same as on land!” – Annika V.
6. Build better balance
Water supports weak muscles and helps minimize the fear of falling. It provides confidence as the body is constantly challenged to stabilize against the continuously moving water. Try rhythmical moves to improve balance. For example, trying jogging; Right Foot, Left Foot, Right Foot – HOLD (on right). Then, Left Foot, Right Foot, Left Foot – HOLD (on left). Repeat several times.
7. Stay cool
What better way to burn hundreds of calories than staying cool while you work! Since water is cooler than your body temp, the heat flows away from your body and results in feeling as if you are never “breaking a sweat.” Marlis, a regarlar participant says: “Water is so refreshing! I love being able to exercise outside.”
Whether you’re looking to get fit, lose weight, reduce joint pain or arthritis, water exercise is proven and effective. That’s why WECOACH Workouts exists; water workouts for every fitness level for pain relief, heart health, stronger bones, and better balance.
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