Are you curious about the benefits of water exercise? Ever ask yourself, "Why swim?" Well, look no further! Below are some answers to that question!

Why is exercise IN the water better than OUT of the water?

  • Buoyancy:  This water property allows people to do exercises that are difficult on land.  90 % of your body is buoyant when in the water up to your neck, so you are not hitting the floor as hard as you would on land.  No pounding or jarring!
  • Resistance:  There is continual resistance to every move you make.  The water offers 12% - 14% more resistance than when you exercise on land.  Resistance does not allow for sudden body movements.
  • Cooling Effects:  Water disperses heat more efficiently, so there is less chance of overheating.  The water continuously cools the body.  Exercise in the water is cooler and more comfortable than it is on land.

Why do people exercise in the water?

  • Fitness:  Getting or keeping in shape.  Remember that you cannot just waddle back and expect great results.  Improving your fitness depends on how much energy you use.
  • Therapeutic:  Helping people recover from accidents and sickness.  Combating the aging process.
  • Social:  Meeting and being with other people.  You can talk to others as you water exercise.  Workout facing your partner or side-by-side.  Meet new people, too!
  • Stress Release:  Gives you a chance to just relax and forget about work, problems, and other things.
  • Fun:  Enjoying the diversion.  Water exercise in a playful way and don't worry about being serious!  Laugh and enjoy it!  Water exercise is fun!

How can water exercise help the participants?

Physical Benefits

  • Improved flexibility and strength
  • Builds up endurance
  • Increases muscular flexibility
  • Muscular balance
  • Heart muscle becomes stronger
  • Improves the physique
  • Increases circulation
  • Rehabilitates muscles
  • Improved ability to control and maintain healthy weight

Social Benefits

  • Have fun
  • Fellowship with other people
  • Enjoyable - even when working hard
  • It is a safe program

Psychological Benefits

  • Helps develop a positive attitude (individually and as a group)
  • Contributes to a feeling of well-being
  • Teaches patience
  • Releases stress and tension
  • Renews energy

What exercise options are there in the water?

  • Water Walking:  Moving forward, backward, and sideward, using regular, short, quick, or long steps, in waist-deep or chest-deep water
  • Water Aerobics:  Full body rhythmic exercises conducted in shallow and/or deep water for 20 minutes or more, designed to provide cardiovascular benefits
  • Water Toning/Strength Toning:  Upper and lower body moves designed to strengthen, firm, and sculpt the muscles by using the resistnace of the water and/or water exercise equipment.
  • Flexibility Training:  Large movements using each body part's full range of motion, along with full body stretches.
  • Water Therapy & Rehabilitation:  Procedures in the water designed and implemented for special clinical purposes.
  • Water Yoga & Relaxation:  Gentle, easy-flowing moves using the water as a relaxation medium.
  • Deep Water Running:  Simulating land running in the water depth where the feet do not touch the bottom of the pool.  Flotation devices are used.  Various running styles, drills, and methods can be used
  • Wall Exercise (Deep or Shallow):  Using the pool wall for support to isolate various body parts.
  • Water Fitness Products:  Professional products designed and manufactured specifically for water fitness activities - for toning, strengthening, and endurance work.  Such products add variety to the class, motivate students, and create additional resistance and support.
  • Lap Swimming:  If the individual is a proficient swimmer, swimming back and forth using various swimming strokes is a possibility.  However, we suggest that lap swimmers also consider other forms of water exercise in addition to lap swimming

Source:  The United States Water Fitness Association

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