Although most people associate swimming pools with lazy summer afternoons and relaxation by the pool, occasionally interrupted by a quick dip to cool themselves down, swimming pools also hold great potential for exercising and staying fit and healthy. Even smaller pools, which may not be perfect for honing your swimming skills can be an excellent environment for your routine workout.
There are quite a few benefits to exercising in the water and most of them have been backed by a great deal of research, which means that those lucky ones who have regular access can really make the most of this perk. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits workouts in the swimming pool bring.
Change of routine
To begin with, exercising in a swimming pool is a nice change from the usual environment, such as a gym, a nearby park or even your bedroom. Who knows, this change might even motivate you even more to keep fit or rekindle your enthusiasm for working out.
Physics doesn’t lie
Those who believe that a workout can’t be intensive enough in the water might be surprised to learn that research suggests that is not the case. Namely, it is because of water resistance that we don’t feel we are working as hard, but in reality we are.
Next, the fact that water provides greater resistance means that you don’t need any additional weights, which in turn means you can easily adapt the intensity of your workout and focus more on muscles which are harder to engage on land. Finally, because gravity is not that strong in water, you can move around using motions that would otherwise be impossible and your lungs also get a good exercise because of the water pressure.
It’s for (almost) everyone
Water exercise can be beneficial to people of all ages and health conditions. For example, all those who would have problems doing weight-bearing exercises will find water a great environment for getting the much needed exercise. So, even if you’re overweight or have arthritis, osteoporosis or an injury that prevents you from doing regular exercise, try visiting a swimming pool for your dose of working out.
It’s been proven that exercising in water develops cardiovascular stamina and flexibility, and it also burns as much body fat as regular land-based exercise. For example, the increasingly popular submersible ergocycles provide the same fitness benefits as regular stationary bikes, while your heart rate is a bit closer to normal.
Some other studies suggest that swimming pool workouts are great for people suffering from chronic illnesses, disabilities and even those with psychological disorders. This, however, doesn’t mean you should completely forgo land-based exercise, since it too has its merits.
Where to exercise?
If you don’t have your own pool, your only option is to join a fitness club or some other establishment which offers swimming pool exercise. On the other hand, if you have a pool, your biggest obstacle has been removed and all you need to do is consult a fitness expert, who can give you advice on what kind of exercises would suit you most.
Finally, if you don’t have a swimming pool in your backyard, but have enough space, money and willingness to build one, you should definitely consider getting one. If you are having any misgivings about the right type and material, in-ground swimming pools impose themselves as the logical choice for some serious backyard exercise: they are easy to maintain, designed to withstand all weather conditions, while a special gel coating protects them against bacteria and algae growth, UV damage and fading.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t start an exercise programme without having consulted your doctor and a fitness expert. The last thing you need is to aggravate existing problems by doing counterproductive exercises or putting too much strain on your body. Also, if you have a pool in your backyard, you really need to maintain it properly and make sure that the water quality is always excellent, since spending time in a polluted and unhealthy environment can create various health problems.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits that exercise in a swimming pool brings and it is sometimes the best or even the only option some people have. However, like with other things in life, the key to success lies in finding the optimal type and amount of exercise. Are you ready to give it a try?
If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.