Water exercise both improves your cardiovascular capacity and increases your strength. It also alleviates depression and anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm that water exercise improves your overall health and fitness and decreases your risk of chronic disease. If you enjoy the water but are not a strong swimmer, you don't have to give up on using a swimming pool for exercise. Instead, choose pool activities that don't require swimming.
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Walk Your Workout
Water walking provides a good alternative to swimming, especially for those for whom land-based exercise is too painful, notes The Arthritis Foundation. The water's buoyancy provides a near-weightless form of exercise that's easy on the joints. Spend 30 to 60 minutes walking or jogging in the shallow end of the pool, traveling from one side of the pool to the other. Either join a class or exercise on your own. Perform the workout in water that comes no higher than your waist to chest, walking just like you would on land. Increase the difficulty of the workout by jogging, raising your knees higher or adding water dumbbells or hand webs for increased resistance.
Mixing It Up
The world of group cycling has met the world of aquatic fitness with aquatic cycles that roll in and out of the swimming pool for group cycling classes in the water. The water benefits cycling in two ways: first, the water's buoyancy decreases the pressure commonly experienced on your back, hips and knees on land-based bikes; second, the water's natural resistance works against the bike's pedals to increase the intensity of the workout for better results. Pools with a zero-depth, beach-like entry point are more likely to offer water cycling classes because the cycles are easier to roll into and out of the pool.
Aquatic Aerobic Options
Water aerobics offers a tried and true option for individuals averse to swimming laps. Similar to land-based fitness classes, water aerobics classes come in a variety of forms and difficulty levels. You may find classes in Ai Chi, a form of aquatic Tai Chi, aquatic dance or even aqua step and weight classes. In addition to a wide-variety of fitness options, water aerobics classes offer you the chance to socialize with other class members and build community bonds.