The water provides the best of both worlds for exercisers—a forgiving and fun, yet surprisingly intense workout experience.
Exercising in the water can give joints and muscles a much needed break from the stresses of exercising on land due to the principle of buoyancy. The water places upward forces on the body making participants feel lighter and in turn places less stress on joints. This allows individuals to try a high-impact exercise, like running, that they may not be able to perform on land. Alternatively, experienced land runners can also benefit from incorporating water running into their regular regime. The water environment allows for an active recovery run where you can still make training gains while resting your joints from the stresses of road running.
The versatility of water exercise is endless. If you are looking for stress relief and relaxation partnered with the soothing feel of the water and fluid movement, the class Ai Chi (similar to Tai Chi, but in the water) may be the right fit for you. If you are an active older adult trying to maintain or even improve your health as you age, Aquamates is a class that may work with your lifestyle. It provides an opportunity to get a total body workout three times per week without stress on joints, while creating a friendly welcoming environment to meet new friends through fitness. If you are struggling to add variety to your workout routine, a class like Hydrofit nicely complements land workouts. The class can help participants break through fitness plateaus and show results quickly. Individuals with an injury, or those needing a more therapeutic approach to exercise, can also benefit from using a pool to do water walking or physical therapy prescribed exercises.
The wellness team at the Y encourages you to “make a splash” in your summer fitness plans by adding water exercise to your workout regimen. Whether it is swimming, water running, or a water fitness class, the low-impact, versatile qualities of the water make it an appropriate workout option for all ages and abilities.
Aquatics Exercise Association:
Benefits of Aquatic Fitness
Centers of Disease Control