BENEFITS OF WATER EXERCISE
1. Water resistant exercises are impact-free!
Water provides natural buoyancy thus decreasing the weight of your body on your joints. When you are up to your neck in water, you only need to support 10 percent of your body’s weight. When exercising in the water at waist level, you need only to support 50 percent of your body’s weight. Water supports and cushions your body, thereby lessening the risk of injury and strain to the joints and muscles.
2. Water exercise strengthens and conditions muscles in a functional way.
Because of its increased density, water provides approximately 12 times more resistance than air. Working against this increased resistance gradually and steadily strengthens your muscles and builds up better muscular endurance and tone. You will see quicker results when exercising in the water, compared with the same exercise routine on land. Due to the fact that water surrounds and resists your movements in all directions, you can build up opposing muscle groups by moving your joints through their complete range of motion while strengthening the muscles.
3. Water exercise improves cardio-respiratory efficiency and endurance.
Water exercise can provide the important function of enhancing your total aerobic fitness by improving heart stroke volume, circulation and the delivery and utilization of oxygen to the working muscles. This improvement in the heart, lungs and circulation system allows the muscles to perform aerobically in a more effective way and for longer periods of time, making you feel more energetic and efficient.
4. Water exercise contributes to a greater level of flexibility.
Because of the lessened effects of gravity in the water, the joints can more easily be moved through a wider range of motion thus improving flexibility without causing undue pressure to joints. Appropriate flexibility helps to reduce the chances of low back pain and increase functional living effectiveness as we age. Consequently, greater flexibility enhances your overall enjoyment of life.
5. Water exercise is refreshing and relaxing.
Heat dissipates faster in water than in air. Since average pool temperature (82° F) is cooler than body temperature (98.6°), exercising in water is very comfortable. It contributes to the soothing and cooling effect on your body because, as you increase core temperature from exercise, you are immediately cooled by the water. After you finish your water workout, you feel refreshed, energized and renewed.
6. Water provides an appropriate challenge for all fitness levels.
You can exercise in water at high or low intensity depending on your ability, speed, use of lever length and surface area, and choice of movement in water. Since water is accommodating and responsive you are in charge of lessening or increasing the intensity of your workout according to your ability and personal fitness goals.
7. Water exercise helps you burn calories.
Due to the greater resistance in water, burning calories doing water aerobics is double what you would burn on land. Calories are burned off in an easy and enjoyable environment since the water keeps your body cool and allows you to exercise comfortably for longer periods of time.
8. Water is a friendly medium for all ages.
Water is a wonderful fitness environment to increase your fitness level without the impact of land workouts. It is a natural medium through which you can build your strength, flexibility and endurance in the same comfortable, fun environment.
9. Water exercise is healing & therapeutic.
Since deep water buoyancy is gentle on you joints and muscles, you can increase your range of motion and flexibility. Appropriate flexibility helps healing and pain reduction and reduces the chances of lower back pain.
However, it is important that you consult with your physician before beginning any type of water exercise program.