Share this fact with a friend
Recipient (s) email
Water-based exercise includes a variety of activities, ranging from swimming to stand-up paddleboarding and water volleyball. Here, we will focus on water-based aerobics, pool walking or jogging, and swimming. While swimming is very familiar to most of us, water aerobics might not be. Swimming involves horizontal movement in water aerobics and pool walking or jogging are done when you're standing in the pool. <strong>Water Aerobics</strong> Water-based aerobics is a catch-all term that includes cardio, strength, and interval training done in the pool. Also called aqua aerobics, aquarobics, aquafit, and many other names, water aerobics are done in a class setting in waist- to chest-deep water with music and a trained instructor. However, you can also do them on your own by following the routines in the Aqua Fitness report from Harvard Medical School. Cardio exercise gets your heart pumping for a sustained period. On land, it's distinguished from strength training, which uses some form of resistance to build muscle. But because water offers natural resistance, most exercises-even classic cardio moves like jumping jacks-provide both aerobic benefits and muscle strengthening. To increase resistance and improve strength gains, you can use equipment like foam dumbbells or paddles. Water aerobics classes may also include interval training, which alternates between higher-intensity and lower-intensity exercises. <strong>Pool Walking or Jogging</strong> Pool walking or jogging is a simple way to get a water workout. You don't need special skills or need to master moves or techniques needed. You don't even have to get your hair wet. Just hop in and walk or jog. If you have lower body joint issues, you should aim for at least waist-high water. The deeper you go, the less impact you will encounter, because water offsets some of your body weight. You can even walk or jog in the deep end by using a flotation belt. As you go deeper, though, walking or jogging will get harder because of the water resistance on a greater area of your body. <strong>Swimming</strong> Swimming is a total-body, get-your-hair-wet workout. When you swim, nearly every muscle in your body propels you through the water, burning calories and helping increase your strength. Swimming can be a wonderful, me-time workout. However, your first few laps or even sessions may not feel so great. This exercise requires more technical skill than water aerobics but give it time. You can even take a few lessons. If it's been a while since you've done lap swimming, or if you've never done it, don't be surprised if you are feeling winded after your first lap. The good news: When you start to see progress, you'll be motivated to keep it up. And don't worry about learning how to do flip turns when you get to the wall (unless you want to). You can just stop, turn, and push off. No one is timing you! Looking to get in the pool? Learn more about <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/promotions/harvard-health-publications/aqua-fitness-mar2023-test" target="_Blank">Aqua Fitness</a> from Harvard Medical School.