Water activity an easy exercise option

Summer is a time to get outside and get moving. It is much easier to exercise when the weather is nicer. Walking, running and biking are all activities that we think about as outside activities. What about water activities? Water aerobics is a great form of exercise. Also known as aquatics, water exercise is one of the best non-impact fitness activities around and just about anybody can participate. Pregnant women, the elderly or overweight, individuals with arthritis or those recovering from an injury can all benefit from the wide variety of aquatics classes currently available.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

Summer is a time to get outside and get moving. It is much easier to exercise when the weather is nicer. Walking, running and biking are all activities that we think about as outside activities. What about water activities?

Water aerobics is a great form of exercise. Also known as aquatics, water exercise is one of the best non-impact fitness activities around and just about anybody can participate. Pregnant women, the elderly or overweight, individuals with arthritis or those recovering from an injury can all benefit from the wide variety of aquatics classes currently available.

Here are the facts according to the American Council on Exercise: The buoyancy of water reduces the "weight" of a person by about 90 percent. This means that the stress on weight-bearing joints, bones and muscles is similarly reduced.

For this reason, it is unlikely that a water workout will result in injury or leave you with sore muscles. That's why the pool is such a great place for people with arthritis or back problems to exercise, and for those who are new to exercise.

But don't get the idea that just because it doesn't hurt, you can't get a great workout in the pool. Water exercise can encompass all of the components of fitness: cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. And, when done regularly, water exercise can help reduce body fat.

The resistance of water is perfect for a strength-training workout instead of weights, the water itself provides the resistance. One of the easiest ways to create resistance in the water is to cup your hands and push or pull the water away from you.

Other devices, such as hand-held paddles and water chutes can increase the resistance to provide a more intense workout.

One of the greatest benefits of water exercise is its effect on flexibility. Water is a welcome environment for performing stretches that might otherwise be difficult on land.

Because the effects of gravity are lessened, you can move your joints through a wider range of motion and achieve long-term flexibility.