With the increasing popularity of swim spas, more people than ever are experiencing the health benefits aquatic fitness provides. Water exercise is a low-impact activity that helps reduce stress on the muscles and joints, making it great for baby boomers (and people of most any age) who want to remain active, though free of excessive body strain.

Water workouts have many wonderful benefits, including:
Increased muscle strength

Water is multidirectional, meaning it flows in different directions, creating resistance. If you’re using a spa to generate a current, the resistance is even greater, ranging from four to 42 times greater than air. The result a more rigorous muscular workout, providing gains in strength, agility and flexibility.

Low occurrence of injury

Buoyancy is the opposite of gravity – an upward force on the body rather than downward. Such action eliminates gravity’s adverse effects, supporting 90 percent of the body’s weight for reduced impact and greater flexibility. Buoyancy drastically reduces stress on tendons, ligaments and muscles, providing a cushion for the weight-bearing joints. In particular, anyone rehabbing from injury or diagnosed with arthritis or another joint-related disease stands to greatly benefit from water exercise due to the wonders of buoyancy.

Improved circulation

That pressure you feel as you go deeper under water? That’s hydrostatic pressure, and it’s a good thing for your body. The unique properties of water allow your internal organs to work more efficiently as hydrostatic pressure pushes equally on all body surfaces and helps the heart circulate blood by aiding venous return. This also helps to account for lower blood pressure and heart rates during deep-water exercise, and aides in the efficiency of gastric emptying and digestive functions.

Burns Calories/Weight Loss

Combining increased water resistance, elevated water temperature, buoyancy, intensity of movement and the “total body” nature of aquatic exercise leads to more calories burned. Water exercise can generate roughly 400-500 kcal/hour of calories burned per workout session, more than can be achieved in many land-based physical activities.

These four points scratch the surface of aquatic exercise’s numerous benefits and don’t even take into account one of the most valuable: Stress reduction. Dipping into water reduces stress. It decreases anxiety. And it allows people to simply relax, even as they continue to exercise.

Content provided by Lindsay Larsen, B.S., NASM CPT, CES

Back to Wellbeing