The pool can be a scary place. You have to wear a swimsuit (ack!), get your hair wet and know the rules of the road—er, swim lanes. But don’t let that stop you! Water provides an excellent workout, especially for people with joint issues or for those who don’t like the wear and tear of high-impact activities, such as jogging. In fact, for many, the pool is a quiet and peaceful respite from the music-pumping cardio and strength areas of a health club. In the pool, you can get a good workout and truly get away at the same time. Another bonus? When you’re in the water, you don’t even notice that you’re sweating!
Water is particularly forgiving for those who are overweight or have musculoskeletal issues. It not only reduces gravity’s effect on the body, but its buoyancy also cushions stiff joints and fragile bones, making it perfect for older adults, those suffering from arthritis and other disabilities, and those carrying extra weight. Even athletes use water workouts to rehabilitate after an injury or to cross train, as it relieves pain and stiffness. And the more you submerge yourself in the water, the more buoyancy the water has, so you can customize your workout to your needs. When you’re in the water up to your waist, your body bears just half of its weight; when it’s up to your chest only 25 percent; and when you’re up to your neck, 10 percent. Individuals with asthma may also prefer indoor pools because the warm, humid air can be easier on the lungs. Continue reading for five fun and effective aquatic exercises!