20 Oct exercise in water
Why exercise in water?
Water based workouts are well known to be the best place to be when returning to exercise, while nursing an injury, when you are pregnant or somewhat older. But did you know that water based workouts can also appeal to a strong, healthy and fit population who just love water and want a high intensity workout without the impact? There are so many reasons why a weekly dose of exercise in water will improve your health and fitness levels. Here is a quick summary of all the health benefits you may not have considered:
- Low or no impact – deep water aqua and deep water running have zero impact so if you tend to do high impact exercise like running or aerobics an workout in deep water may give your joints and muscles enough of a rest from the pounding to prevent overuse injuries and degeneration
- Symmetrical movement – your body can not help moving symmetrically in water – partly this is because you body is now supported and can more more freely, and partly because you’ll get immediate feedback in the water if you move more strongly or fully on one side of the body – you’ll travel in that direction. On land you are more likely to develop muscular imbalance because your body will compensate for the imbalance to keep you upright – in water your body is supported and moves more freely without gravity affecting your movement
- Flushes out any swelling or excess fluid – it is the hydrodynamic pressure that pushes excess fluid from all around the body, to the kidneys, to be secreted later. Have you ever noticed after swimming that you need to go to the toilet? This is hydrodynamic pressure working, and the deeper the water the more the pressure. The density of the water can affect this too. Salt water for example is more dense, as is cold water. So if you are wanting the maximum benefit of flushing out excess fluid try deep salt water!
- Heart rate is automatically lower when you exercise in water at a comparable intensity as exercising on land – BUT you are getting the same benefits as working out on land. What actually happens in water is you have a larger stroke volume – this is the AMOUNT of blood that pumps from your ventricles each and every time your heart beats – your heart beats more slowly and more fully and this is VERY good for you. A side benefit of this is you actually feel like the exercise is easier (while getting great benefits) That’s what I call a win-win.
- Your body temperature is lower in water (providing you are not in a hydrotherapy pool) This is particularly important if you are pregnant as medical guidelines state that a pregnant woman should avoid an elevated body temperature while pregnant.
- Your workout is multi-directional (otherwise known as functional) This means that you twist, reach, extend, roll, push and pull while working out in water – and this mimics the demands of life. If you train like this you will be better prepared for life’s challenges.
I highly recommend exercise in water as part of your regular exercise routine.
Whether this be water walking, swimming, deep water running or aqua aerobics you will benefit from the diversity in your exercise routine.
If you’d like to try water based personal training we have more information here