Done correctly, water workouts can give you gains similar to those on land, including aerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and better balance. Darcy Reber, D.N.P., family medicine provider at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, recommends aquatic exercise because:
You may want to start with water walking. In water that's about waist-high, walk across the pool swinging your arms like you do when walking on land. Avoid walking on your tiptoes, and keep your back straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles to avoid leaning too far forward or to the side.
To increase resistance as your hands and arms move through the water, wear hand webs or other resistance devices. Water shoes can help you maintain traction on the bottom of the pool.
Once you're comfortable walking in waist-high water, try walking in deeper water. As you walk, swing your arms. For a more intense workout, consider jogging in deep water.
Water workouts can help you reach your fitness goals without pain or injury. They can add cross-training variety to your existing exercise routine or offer a safe and fun way to start an exercise program. So, jump on in — the water’s fine.