What’s a fabulous way to workout in the winter? The answer: Water Fitness.
Water Fitness has gotten an undeserved reputation as being a workout that’s only for older adults. While older folks can and do enjoy exercising in the pool, water fitness can provide both a cardiovascular and strength training challenge for any age due to the unique properties of water such as buoyancy, drag, inertia, turbulence and surface area. A variety of equipment can be added for progressive overload, including Lycra or Neoprene gloves, float belts, buoyancy cuffs, noodles, kickboards, hand buoys, weights, and rubber tubing. And shoes are actually recommended for shallow water workouts—either Aqua Sox or Water Aerobic shoes. Shoes provide traction against the pool floor, protect feet from abrasive tile, and provide drag.
Unlike exercising on land, water constantly presses against the body, and this hydrostatic pressure prevents the heart rate from elevating as high as it would when performing the same moves in a gravity-based air environment. However, this in no way means that you’re working less intensely. Studies have shown that water workouts burn as many, if not more, calories than land workouts. And it’s time efficient—combining strength training and aerobic fitness at the same time. Participants definitely sweat in the water, but don’t feel it in the pool. And just like dry-land exercise, water consumption before, during, and after a pool workout is highly recommended to stay hydrated.
There are many water fitness formats to choose from to suit your preferences: shallow water workouts focusing on repetitive athletic moves to music, boot camp, deep water workouts, choreographed water dancing such as Aqua Zumba ®, and even small-group personal training. And since water is fluid, everyone is able to work at their own pace. The harder you push against water, the harder it pushes back. And vice versa. Water provides the freedom to move in ways that are impossible for most people on land.
So, head on over to your nearest indoor pool this winter to reap the benefits of this fun, effective, and time efficient workout. You’ll discover that water works.
Lover of dance, dance-fitness and aquatic fitness.