Does exercising in the pool work? This is one question that is often asked. With all the fun splashing around the pool, you would think that it does not provide any opportunity for a serious workout. This is the biggest misconception of all. Pool exercises do so much for the body. They burn fat. They tone the body. They are excellent for physical therapy. They even ease symptoms of arthritis, fatigue, and even musculoskeletal pain caused by fibromyalgia. This is why you should include pool exercises in your usual fitness regimen.
Benefits of pool exercises
There are many ways that you can benefit from exercising in the pool. Here are just some of them:
- Burns fat. Research has consistently shown that people who do pool exercises burn fat more effectively and efficiently as compared to those who do their workout on land. This could be because of two things. First, you have to contend with water resistance. The extra effort you put in for every kick or stroke means more calories burned. Second, water has a cooling effect as compared to getting all tired and sweaty with a land-based workout. You might not even notice how much time has passed because of the fun and comfort you feel when you are in the water.
- Enhances cardiovascular health. If you want a healthy heart, swimming is one of the exercises most physicians recommend. However, you might need to gain clearance from your doctor if you have pre-existing heart conditions before you include pool exercises in your regular fitness activities.
- Boosts strength. As mentioned earlier, when you do pool exercises, you have to contend with water resistance. This is the reason why aquatic activities tone the body and build muscle because of the extra effort to work against constant resistance. There are many activities that you can do in the water that can really focus on building strength.
- Eases some conditions. Pool exercises are used for physical therapy. This is because water activity is easy on the joints and has a cooling effect as well. It is known to ease conditions such as arthritis and other chronic musculoskeletal pain. The best part of it all is that water activities pose a really low risk of injury as compared to activities on land. This is why pool exercises can be done by practically anyone, those recovering from injury, pregnant women, the elderly, and even those on the heavy side.
- Improves flexibility. Aquatic activities do a lot where flexibility is concerned. It improves motion and mobility. It enhances balance and coordination. There is a thing called water yoga which can maximize flexibility development each time you hit the water.
- Fun workout. What makes pool exercises extra special is that they are fun to do. Unlike some land-based exercises which can get a little routinary, you can do so much stuff when you are in the water. You do not have to sweat either. Aquatic activities definitely add fun to the fitness equation.
Pool exercises to try
There are many pool exercises that are really effective for toning and strengthening the body. Here are some of the activities that you can try:
- Walk in water. Just by walking in the pool from one end to the other, your burn calories and build up strength. This is due to the constant resistance of water. You can go back and forth about two times when starting out. You can gradually increase the number of back-and-forth water walking when your body is more attuned to this type of exercises.
- Jog in water. Now that you are done with walking, you can now proceed to jogging. What you can do is to pick up the pace as you move from one end of the pool to another. You can do this exercise three times as well. So as not to exhaust you immediately, you can pair this up with a low-intensity exercise which will be discussed as the next point.
- Pool plank. You would need a water log or a long cylindrical foam that can float on water. You can then press it straight down into the water. Lean forward until your body is on a straight incline. Hold that position for one to two minutes. You can do this in intervals with water jogging.
- One leg up. This is a simple exercise which you can also use as an interval exercise when you opt to do water jogging. Here, you have to find an ample depth of water to do this pool exercise. Suggested depth is waist level. You then lift your left knee up and hold it in place with your hands. After a minute, you can then do the same for your right knee. If you are already an expert on this particular exercise, you can proceed trying to balance all the assignments given to you while lifting both arms up in the water.
- Actual swimming. This is where the fun comes in. You can do as many laps as you can. You might want to check with your physician, however, regarding the duration that your current health condition can permit.
Always remember that you have to put your safety first when you do your pool exercises. Here are some reminders that will prove useful to you.
- Hydrate. Just because you are in the pool all the time does not mean you are getting the right amount of water to drink. Keep your body hydrated. You can still suffer from adverse reactions if you do not have enough water to drink.
- Have a companion. This advice is for those with pre-existing conditions. It is not wise to be by yourself when you have concerns with your heart or any part of the body that could be triggered by strenuous activity.
- Do not go to the deep end. Always stay at a manageable depth. This will be of great help to you especially in case an emergency happens.
Pool exercises offer myriad benefits. This is why you should include aquatic activities to boost fitness a whole lot more. So, when asked: “Does exercising in the pool work?” After knowing all the information, the kids have but one answer, “A resounding YES!”