Go on, make a splash!!
Here’s my top 5 reasons to include the pool in your fitness routine:
1) Buoyancy of water
Buoyancy reduces the impact of gravity on our body while immersed in the the water. It’s the main reason that we float. Even with the water at waist level your body is effectively experiencing only 50% of it’s body weight. It is reduced by 65-75% when immersed to chest level and while up to neck level it is reduced by up to 90%! This reduction in gravity lessons joint impact and can reduce joint compression. It is the perfect medium in which to exercise!
2) Hydrostatic Pressure
The hydrostatic pressure of water is 360 degrees. The gentle pressure effectively massages the surface area of your body and helps circulation. It improves the blood flow throughout the body while reducing the heart rate. Many people also experience improved respiratory function, reduction of swelling and improved recovery while exercising in the water.
Fun fact: The hydrostatic pressure increases flow to the kidneys leading to an increased urge to urinate (that’s why your child often needs to leave the pool during their lesson:-)) It is vital to stay hydrated while exercising/swimming to prevent dehydration due to this increased activity. The dehydration is often the reason you feel hungry after being in the pool!
3) Water Resistance
Water is understood to be almost 800 times more dense than air and provides 12 times more resistance. The resistance is also 360 degrees and movement in the water allows a workout for the whole body.
Think about it, if we raise our arms on land we are resisting gravity while lifting, but the movement downwards is assisted by gravity. If we move our arms in a similar fashion underwater, we have the resistance of water in all directions.
Working out in water ensures a balanced workout for muscle pairs and can prevent and even correct existing imbalances.
The resistance of the water can prevent the joint going beyond a safe range of motion and provide a cushioning effect.
4) A universal workout
Working out in the water is suitable for all ages and fitness abilities. It is especially suitable for those that may have issues with exercising on land due to joint/mobility problems such as arthritis.
5) Enhanced well being
The benefits of water exercise are boundless, it an evidence based method to enhance well being. Just some of the well being benefits include:
- Decreased pain and stiffness
- Increased mobility/flexibility
- Improved function and ability to perform activities of daily living
- Improved balance and co-ordination
- Improved strength and endurance (cardio and muscular)
- Improved athletic performance
- Improved mood
- Decreased depression
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improved health markers
- Social- making and meeting friends
- Increased energy, confidence and enthusiasm
All of this while having fun? Why not give it a try, you might just fall in love with the water!!!