Five good reasons why you should exercise in water

Looking for a way to keep fit and reduce your stress levels? Here are five good reasons why you should consider exercising in water. 

We all know there’s nothing quite like a good soak in the bath for our mental wellbeing. But when it comes to our physical health, many people are not aware of the potential benefits the water can bring.

Swimming pools or an endless pool, are the perfect training partner whatever level of fitness you are. They can be used by elite athletes as well as expectant mothers, the elderly and those who are simply looking for a convenient and fun way to stretch, condition and keep fit. 

So just what are the benefits of exercise in water? Here are five reasons why you should consider exercising in the water just a little bit more.

1) It’s accessible

Perhaps the most powerful benefit of exercising in water is just how accessible it is. Your body feels about 90 per cent lighter when exercising in water, which massively reduces the level of impact on knees, hips and other joints that tend to feel the strain.

That makes water exercises an excellent way to keep fit for many people who may not be able to move so freely on land. That includes those with chronic back problems, knee conditions, joint pain, arthritis, pregnant women and those carrying excess weight.

There’s also the benefit that there’s no risk of falling and hurting yourself, which might otherwise be a cause for concern.

2) It’s suitable for every level of fitness

The beauty of exercising in water is the sheer variety of the exercises available. Swimming laps is an excellent form of exercise that can be done at a pace that suits you.

However, your options don’t stop there. You can do aquabiking, using exercise bikes submerged in a pool, deep water running, water yoga, flexibility training and so much more. Here are just a few examples of the many water exercises you can do.

 3) Pool workouts are excellent stress relievers

Pool workouts can be an excellent way to relax and relieve some of the stress of everyday life. The exercises stimulate the brain and help to release feel-good endorphins, which reduce the perception of pain and can trigger feelings of euphoria.

It’s important to note that every exercise can have the same impact, but the movement of water against the body, particularly in warmer water, can have an additional relaxing effect.  

The level of intensity of the workout does have an impact on the level of endorphin release, but even moderate water exercises can reduce stress, boost your mood and even alleviate anxiety and depression.

4) You can burn some serious calories

Although it might feel like a relatively gentle way to workout, even simple water exercises like treading water, walking in water and exercises with floats can lead to some serious calorie burn. That’s because the water has built-in resistance, so every movement you make works your body harder than it would in the air.

This resistance is not only great for building cardiovascular fitness and all-round strength, but it also helps you burn more than 300 calories an hour. 

5) You don’t need to battle the elements

Exercising in an indoor pool is a great alternative to outdoor exercise, as you can get your blood pumping whatever the weather.

Of course, if you’re really driven, then you should be getting out there come rain (or snow) or shine. But for the realists among us, opting for an indoor water workout instead of a run in cold weather conditions can save a lot of misery, leaving no excuse for missing a workout! And if you’re only starting on the road to getting fit, you’re much less likely to get injured or sick.

It can be difficult to maintain focus over the cold winter months, but by jumping in the pool when it’s freezing outside, you can keep up your routine while taking a nice, warm dip.  

Photo by Angelo Pantazis