Water Provides a Low-Impact Workout

If you are looking for a great way to improve your physical fitness and well-being try exercising in the pool. Water exercises are great because they are low impact and a lot of fun. There are many exercises that can be performed in a pool. Aqua running with a water belt, exercises with a pool noodle and pool dumbbells are just some of the tools available for exercising in a pool. You can also swim lengths and your local pool may even have weekly water aerobic classes that you can participate in.

The benefits of swimming have been recognized for many years. Swimming is an excellent form of aerobic exercise. If performed three times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes you will improve your cardiovascular endurance and, coupled with good nutritional habits, you will burn off some of that excess body-fat! Besides the aerobic benefit, it is one of the few aerobic sports that emphasizes upper body conditioning while also improving flexibility. The other benefit is that, because gravity is eliminated, there is less potential for injury to the lower extremity joints, muscles and tendons.

If swimming lengths is not your thing try a water belt used for aqua running. A water belt fits around your waist and helps you to partially float so that you can perform a running motion in the water. This form of running closely patterns the form used on land. Water provides a resistance that is proportional to the effort exerted, much like running into a stiff wind. For variation, this exercise can also be performed in a cross-country skiing motion. The benefit of pool exercises is that the water allows you to move freely. Also, the water provides added resistance without the stress or impact on your joints and soft tissues.

Water aerobic classes often use pool tools such as water dumbbells, pool noodles or even empty capped milk jugs. These devices are great for performing strengthening exercises as they provide resistance from being submerged into the water. Milk jugs are especially great for pool exercises because they are effective and very inexpensive. A good aquatic class will provide an aerobic workout and it will also effectively strengthen the major muscle groups of the body.

For people with lower back pain or with injuries to their lower extremities exercising in a pool is often the best way to restore muscle strength, endurance, and joint range of motion. Exercising in the water is also great for sport-specific rehabilitation. Many athletes have returned to their pre-injury form ahead of schedule due to the effectiveness of water rehabilitation.

If you are just starting out on an exercise program remember that all programs can be tailored to your individual needs based on your age and fitness level. Always start with a program that is comfortable for you and slowly progress from there.

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