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The Benefits of Exercising in Water

1. Burns Calories
A properly structured water training session can burn up to 500 calories, which facilitates weight loss.

2. Provides Full Body Conditioning
When you move through water you are always encountering resistance, which challenges your muscles. Water provides a well-balanced workout that encompasses the major components of physical fitness: endurance, muscular strength and flexibility….all in one shot.

3. Saves Time
In the pool your exercise sessions involve working muscles in pairs, so you accomplish more in less time.

4. Is Easy on the Joints
Water makes your body buoyant and the impact to the joints during exercise is significantly less than on land. Not only is this good for seniors, but athletes needing cross-training, rehabilitation patients and pregnant women benefit from the lessened joint stress.

5. Alleviates Back Pain and
Strengthens Core
Water provides a low- to no-impact environment that reduces stress on the spine, which sometimes allows you to work harder than on land. Deep water exercise is also a very effective core strengthener, which is important for back health and good posture.

6. Provides Cross-Training
Repetitive motion often leads to injuries, so moving your program into the pool or changing up your exercise completely gives your body a well-deserved break. Runners, for example, often find deep water jogging a welcome, yet challenging, alternative to the constant pounding on pavement.

7. Keeps You Cool
Though you do sweat during pool exercise sessions, the water helps wash the sweat away so you don’t feel uncomfortable. Overheating is a frequent danger with hot weather workouts and is much less likely in the pool.

8. Relaxes You
The fluid movement of water relaxes you and facilitates better sleep. New mind-body classes such as pool yoga and water pilates also reinforce relaxation. Specialized treatments such as Watsu, a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water combining elements of massage, stretching and shiatsu, offers a complete relaxation experience. And when in doubt – merely float. The gentle motion of the water will cradle you and let your muscles release.
As with all exercise, consistency is key. Do your research and find a water-based program that appeals to your personality and needs. That way, come fall, you won’t be struggling to fit back into your jeans.
Stay cool.

Written by Helen M Ryan

Helen M. Ryan is a freelance writer, marketing pro, and the co-founder of Open Access Digital. She is also the host of the walking podcast Walking & Talking with Helen.

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