Water Workout: The Fitness Trend to Power You Through Summer
Water workout, aqua aerobics or aquatic therapy can be a great way to stay fit in summers.
Water workout, aqua aerobics or aquatic therapy can be a great way to stay fit in summers.(Photo: iStock)

Water Workout: The Fitness Trend to Power You Through Summer

Whether you’re a water baby or not, there’s one activity that’s sure to be a summer treat – water workout, aqua aerobics or aquatic therapy, whatever you call it.

It can be a great way to workout in the heat, while having the added advantage of water to elevate your regime. Water exercises work on multiple levels, strengthening and repairing the body even as you burn calories.

Even celebrity fitness guru Yasmin Karachiwala and her regular client Kartina Kaif are fans!

If you’re not a swimmer, don’t worry, water exercises go beyond your swimming skills. So what is it about water that benefits a regular exercise routine?

What are Water Workouts?

First, let’s be clear about what water exercises are. Many might hesitate getting into water thinking that they don’t know how to swim. Well, you don’t actually need to be a swimmer to workout in water.

Water exercises are in fact, done in a shallow pool, with water only up to your chest, reminds Vesna Jacob, a holistic fitness expert. And it also adds fun to your routine, especially in the scorching heat!

Possible options include low-intensity water aerobics, muscle-strengthening classes, or those that incorporate dance, yoga, or pilates.

If you don’t have a pool at your disposal, consider taking Aqua Zumba sessions, water cycling class or some good old aqua aerobics.
Join an aqua aerobics class.
Join an aqua aerobics class.
(Photo: iStock)

The Benefits of Water Workouts

Water naturally adds extra resistance on your muscles, which is one of the reasons swimming is such a great strength-building workout. It benefits your heart health and, of course, is easy on your joints. “Water has buoyancy and it changes the way you are feeling and experiencing your own weight,” says Vesna Jacob.

Dr Amit Kohli, Co-founder and Chief Physiotherapist, AquaCentric Therapy, further explains:

Since the weight of your body in water is approximately 1/10th of that on land, exercising in water is easier. The buoyancy helps in reducing the effects of gravity and decreases the pressure on your joints. Water is 600-700 times more resistive than air and it aids in strengthening weakened muscles. 

People report enjoying water-based exercise more than exercising on land. They can also exercise longer in water than on land without increased effort or joint or muscle pain.

Moreover, warm water helps you relax by increasing blood supply to sore and tight muscles, thereby decreasing pain. Lastly, the uniform pressure of water provides support to the body and helps improve balance, adds Dr Kohli.

(Photo: iStock)

Who Is It For?

To begin with the most talked about benefit, water exercises are great for heart health. In fact, they are sometimes offered as part of cardiac rehabilitation. It helps heart patients recover and exercise safely.

Vesna Jacob and Dr Kohli list out the following:

  • They’re good for anyone who wants to keep their heart healthy.
  • Aquatic exercises improve insulin sensitivity, cholesterol and visceral fat.
  • It benefits anyone who can’t manage their body weight well – people who are overweight, have joint issues or back issues.
  • Aquatic therapy helps strengthen the pelvic floor and address lifestyle factors.
  • Water-based exercise can help people with chronic diseases. For people with arthritis, it improves use of affected joints without worsening symptoms.
  • It’s great for elderly and pregnant people.
  • It’s a great way to shape the legs and also to get rid of the cellulite.

For others, water is fun. It’ll add the extra motivation to workout. And if you have any of the above issues, water is an excellent way to deal with it.

Even if you’re uncomfortable with water or are a non-swimmer, once you know that your feet are touching the ground and the water is only up to your chest, you’ll feels comfortable, says Jacob.

Any Precautions to be Taken?

If you’re new to it or are not too comfortable being in water, always exercise under supervision.

Responding to the news of a five-year-old boy with autism drowning in a hydrotherapy pool, Jacob states, “If something like drowning has happened, then maybe some other factor came into play because there are very few chances of anything going wrong in general since water exercises are done in very shallow pool.”

Precautions:

  • Always workout under expert supervision.
  • If you have dizziness bouts then be safe, and don’t do very heavy breathing workouts while you’re in the water.
  • If you have high blood pressure, then consult with your doctor before going for it.
  • If you have water retention, staying too long in the water is not good.
  • Use sunscreen to protect your skin from damage.
  • Avoid exercising when the sun is at its peak. Choose morning or evening.
  • If you have allergies or infections, water may aggravate it.

Other than that, everything else is absolutely fine and safe. So take out that swim suit this summer!

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