Aquatic exercises provide numerous benefits and this is because the water is essentially an exercise environment that is ideal to exercise in at any time of the year. In addition, the buoyancy effect provided by the water supports a significant part of your body and therefore makes it easier to move while in the water (improves flexibility). Water also offers resistance that serves to makes muscles stronger. Water exercises have been known to improve balance, cardiovascular fitness and even agility. A majority of conditions really benefit from water exercises, these include arthritis, back pain, neurological fibromyalgia, balance conditions and joint replacements. However, exercising in the water presents certain risks of injury and even drowning. The kind of exercises that can be safely done in the water is what this article seeks to give answers to.
Prior to commencing water exercises, always confirm with a physician or physical therapist to ensure that the water exercises you are going to do are safe for you. In addition, there following are some useful tips you can follow to kick you off in the right direction:
i. Always wear shoes as they are excellent in providing traction while on the floor of the pool.
ii. While exercising the water level ought to be waist high or chest high in the worst case scenario.
iii. You should use a floating vest/belt or Styrofoam noodle to help you float while in deep water.
iv. It is highly recommended that you make slower movements than fast ones as they offer less resistance and therefore avoid injury.
v. Avoid pushing your body through pain while exercising in water.
vi. You can utilize Styrofoam weights, webbed water gloves, kickboards or inflated balls for increased resistance.
vii. Drink plenty of water while exercising in water.
Safe water exercises
Water jogging or walking
You can begin with forward walking and backward walking in water that is waist or chest high. Walk for approximately ten to twenty steps forward and then repeat the same number backwards. Vary the speed upwards to increase difficulty. You can increases intensity through jogging lightly on one spot. Alternate walking with jogging for 30 seconds each and this can be continued for five minutes.
This is done by facing the wall of the pool and making sideways steps with both the toes and the body facing the pool wall. Make ten to twenty steps in a single direction and then return in the same fashion. This can be repeated two times in each direction.
This is done by holding the Styrofoam noodle in front of you and leaning forward to a plank position. The Styrofoam noodle will get submerged and your elbows ought to be straight and facing downward in the direction of the pool floor. All this should be done while your feet are firmly on the floor of the pool. Remain in this position for as long as you comfortably can, this should be around 60 seconds but it depends on the strength of your core. Repeat this three to five times.
One leg balance
Stand on one leg while keeping the knee of the other leg raised to the level of the hip. Place a Styrofoam noodle under the leg that is raised such that it forms a U-shape with your foot at its centre. Hold the position for as long as you can but it should not exceed thirty seconds and then switch the leg that is raised. Attempt one to two sets of five on each of your legs. Other safe water exercises are forward and side lunges, hip kickers at pool wall, deep water bicycle, arm raises, push-ups and standing knee left.
The above are safe water exercises that you can try out so as to benefit from the numerous advantages that exercising in water provides.