Summer is upon us and with it comes the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a water exercise program. Water exercise has something to offer everyone including individuals with arthritis and other joint disabilities, pregnant women, athletes and others looking to condition themselves. Whether you join an organized water aerobics class or just exercise on your own, exercising in the water provides a total body workout that improves cardiovascular conditioning and flexibility.
Things You Will Need
Access to a pool or other water source
The fist step is to verify with your healthcare provider if a water exercise program is safe and appropriate for you. One of the major benefits of water exercise is provided by hydrostatic pressure. This is the weight of the water that pushes against your body from all sides. Simply stepping into the water will increase your metabolism due to the increased circulation of your blood caused by hydrostatic pressure. Start with a simple stretching routine.
After consulting your healthcare provider, join a formal exercise program at the YMCA, YWCA or other organization. There you can learn the basics on how to do water exercises properly. Another benefit of water exercise is caused by drag. This is the resistance against an object as it moves through the water. Push or pull items such as a large round ball through the water to create drag and therefore improve muscular strength and endurance.
If you are having trouble balancing in the water, make use of flotation devices such as water belts, noodles, or kickboards. A third benefit to water exercise is buoyancy. This is the upward pressure exerted by water on a body. Buoyancy is what makes a water workout low impact and therefore easier on arthritic joints.
Slowly increase the time of your workouts until you can make it at least a 30 minute workout to increase your metabolic rate.
Exercising in the water provides a total body workout that improves cardiovascular conditioning and flexibility.
Tips & Warnings
Drink plenty of water before, during and after any exercise session. , Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.