Notes for the Road: Walk Georgia Blog

Water-based Exercise Provides Ample Options to Get Fit

You may think of water sports as a summer activity, but in some communities swimming and water aerobics are available throughout the year. One benefit of water exercise is that it is good for people who may be overweight or who have back problems, leg or foot injuries. The water’s buoyancy can reduce the pain that land exercise can produce. Even people with arthritis find that water exercise soothes inflamed joints while increasing strength and endurance.

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Water exercise also allows you to adjust your exercise intensity based on your current fitness level. If you are not very fit, you can swim or do water aerobics slowly. If you are more in shape, you can speed it up. The extra resistance of the water makes even a slow pace challenging. If you are not a confident swimmer, many YMCAs and other swimming facilities offer adult and youth swimming lessons.

Water aerobics classes generally do not require as much swimming experience. Often, floatation devices that wrap around your middle are available to support you during the class. Most of the moves are easy to learn and are repeated several times to lively music. Even if you are not the most coordinated person, you will get a workout if you just keep moving.

If you are self-conscious about wearing a bathing suit, realize that most people feel the same way, and you will not be alone. While you are in the pool, very little of your body will be visible above the surface anyway.

What You Will Need:

  • A swim cap to prevent chlorine from damaging your hair and keep you warmer in the water.
  • Water shoes to protect your feet from any injury you might receive while walking to and from the pool or while you are exercising.
  • Sunscreen if you will be swimming outside.
  • Moisturizing lotion to keep your skin from drying out.

How to Exercise in the Water:

  • Swim or walk laps.
  • Use a kick board or water noodle to hold you afloat as you kick your feet.
  • Use other equipment like web gloves or water weights to increase water resistance and exercise intensity.
  • Sign up for a class.
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