Looking for the perfect form of exercise? It may be time to get off the land and into the water. Of course, as with any exercise regimen, you should consult your doctor before beginning.
Exercise in general – at least 30 minutes a day is recommended – can help ease depression, enhance self-image, relieve stress and, of course, improve your health. Swimming and water aerobics offer a host of benefits other forms of exercise can’t.
- When immersed in water, your body weight is significantly reduced: just 50 percent of its weight in waist-high water, and only 10 percent of its weight in neck-high water.
- Because your body weight is reduced in water, it means there’s less stress on your joints when you’re in the water.
- Swimming and water activities are low impact, making them great for people with arthritis, or those recovering from certain types of surgery or injuries.
- In the water, there’s very little risk of falls or injuries.
- Swimming is an aerobic exercise, meaning it can help strengthen the heart.
- Because water is denser than air, every movement in the pool becomes a resistance exercise, improving muscle strength! Swimming has also been shown to improve bone strength.
- Swimming and water aerobics use a broad range of motion, helping to keep joints and muscles loose and flexible.
- Swimming is also a great calorie burner for those looking to lose weight.
- Like yoga, water activities can be very relaxing as well and help produce a positive outlook.
Get in the Water
While swimming may conjure images of going back and forth between two ropes in the pool, water aerobics is just as beneficial. What is water aerobics? Just imagine an aerobics class in water! There’s music, movement and props, such as various floatation devices – and there are classmates to enjoy the experience with.
If all this has you ready to make a splash, the next step is to find a pool or water aerobics class near you. For those without their own backyard or community pool, many options abound. Here are a few places to find pools and classes near you:
- Join a gym with a pool. Many gyms offer senior discounts. Gyms with pools will usually have open lap hours as well as water aerobics classes.
- Community centers and community colleges often offer swimming and water aerobics classes at reasonable prices. You may get a catalog of classes in the mail, or you may need to call or go online to peruse the latest offerings.
With its many benefits and virtually no drawbacks, swimming may indeed be the perfect exercise. Classes also offer an opportunity to meet new people, making it a social activity as well. Whether you’re a beginner or born fish, there has never been a better time to dive in!