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Benefits of Pool Exercises to Keep You Fit This Summer

By Anja Sonnenberg

Medically Reviewed by Eric Leckie, PT

Summer exercise outdoors can be hot and sweaty, but instead of going for a run, there are exercises that you can do to keep you cool while increasing your heart rate. Not only is exercising in water low impact, pool workouts are a fantastic way to increase your cardio endurance.

An average thirty minute pool workout can burn about 300-calories and unlike exercising on land, the water supports your body weight, which results in a wider range of motion because gravity isn’t pulling you down. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool or you have access to a public pool, here are 5 benefits of pool exercise to keep you fit this summer without breaking into a sweat…

No Equipment Necessary

Aside from a swimming pool, you don’t need any special equipment to get a good workout in the pool. The water itself provides resistance for cardio and strength training. If you don’t want to swim laps, try a few other exercises like pool bicycle.

Rest your elbows on the edge of the pool or use a pool noodle to support your upper body. Once you’re secure, start moving your legs as if you were riding a bicycle. This motion in the water works your shoulders, legs, and core.

Workout While Staying Cool

When it’s hot and sticky outside, you may not want to work outdoors. The other alternative is to go to the air conditioned gym, but that isn’t always relaxing. Exercising in the pool offers a great workout while enjoying the cool water.

Your body has to work harder to maintain your body temperature, so you actually burn more calories when swimming compared to other exercises on land. Just be sure not to overdo it as your body cannot cool itself down as efficiently in the water as it can on land through sweating.

The Soothing Benefit of Water

Whatever type of exercise you choose to do, working out helps reduce and relieve stress. Exercise stimulates the brain to release chemicals that make your body feel good.

The movement of water feels soothing, especially if you have sore muscles or joints. The water also massages, which can have a calming effect that can decrease and eliminate aches and pains. Swimming pools are especially beneficial for seniors who are prone to arthritis.

Exercise While Recovering From an Injury

If you’re a diehard workout enthusiast, but you’ve sustained an injury, water may be the best thing for you. Instead of sitting on the couch, taking your workouts to the water can help you recover faster.

Not only can you get a full-body workout, you can gently exercise the injury without adding unwanted stress or pressure to it. Water resistance, temperature, and pressure all help build muscle and strength in a safe environment.

Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion

Exercising in water is one of the best ways to increase your flexibility and range of motion. Because water exercises don’t cause stress on joints, you’re able to increase your physical activity.

If you’re carrying extra weight and are new to exercising, pool workouts are a great way to start because your body weight doesn’t feel as heavy. In fact, the buoyancy of water eliminates the effects of gravity. As with any new exercise program, start slowly and build your endurance. Even though you’re exercising, you can still hurt yourself if you push yourself too hard and too quickly.

DPT, Doctor of Physiotherapy

Eric Leckie is a men's health Physiotherapist specializing in prostate cancer treatment. He completed his studies in Australia earning his Doctor of Physiotherapy from the University of Melbourne. He currently works in a private practice, in addition to owning his own Telehealth Physiotherapy clinic which focuses on treating men with prostate cancer.

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