Who doesn’t love swimming?! Whether it’s endless hours in the pool during summer, or long, lazy days at the beach, there’s no denying the fact that swimming is bucket-loads of fun!
But it can be much more than that too. In fact, just 20 minutes a day of water exercise can lead to an array of mental and physical health benefits.
So, what is aqua fitness?
Aqua fitness is essentially any form of activity, performed in water, which contributes to mental and physical health and wellbeing. It can be performed in varying depths of water, to varying levels of intensity, based on the fitness and capabilities of each individual participant.
What types of exercise can you perform?
There are a number of different pool workouts you can use to create an effective aquatic fitness routine. You can perform cardio activities (like water jogging/walking) and swim laps of the pool to increase your fitness; try water aerobics to enhance flexibility, and even improve power by using the resistance of the water to build muscle strength.
How long should your workout last?
As with any type of exercise, the duration of your sessions will vary depending on your fitness level, and the intensity with which you train. If you’re new to aqua fitness, start slowly – two or three 20-minute sessions a week will be plenty. Before long, you’ll find you have the cardio and muscular endurance to complete hour-long sessions almost every day of the week.
Are pool sessions better than gym workouts?
Because water exercises work your entire body, you get more bang for your buck. With aqua fitness, you can work all of your muscle groups in as little as 20-minutes. And you can repeat that session several times a week. Compare that to long sessions in the gym involving complex ‘body part splits’, multiple exercises, and an array of different equipment, and it’s clear that the pool provides a much simpler, more efficient workout.
Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have a pool or swim spa at home you’ll save travel time to and from the gym, and be able to work-out from the privacy of your own backyard!
Is aqua fitness good for your body?
Aqua fitness is low-impact. That means the chances of injury are significantly lower than other popular forms of exercises like running or weight training. It also means you can train more frequently, without lengthy recovery phases between sessions.
Pool workouts can be incredibly beneficial for people suffering from joint complaints (like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) and are a gentler form of exercise for pregnant women.
Can aqua fitness improve your overall health?
Aqua fitness can enhance fitness, improve strength and flexibility, reduce stress and help you sleep better – all of which is great for overall health. In fact, the positive effects of aquatic fitness are so great, Spa World has partnered with an expert in aquatic sports performance to help our clients get the most out of their swim spas.
Based in the United States, Dr. Rick McAvoy has spent more than two-and-a-half decades specialising in aquatic fitness and physical therapy. He’s a regular contributor to our blog, and can be called upon to develop tailored fitness programs for clients who purchase a swim spa.
Check out Dr. Rick’s thoughts on training in the water below.
Enjoying all of these benefits
While the benefits of aqua fitness on a regular basis are clear, making the most of those
benefits can be easier said than done. Not everyone is lucky enough to live by the beach or close to a swimming complex. And not everyone has enough space, or a big enough budget, to install their own swimming pool at home.
And that’s where swim spas and plunge pools come in! With a pool in your backyard, you can exercise from the comfort and privacy of your own home. And, with a swim spa, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of powerful jets which create a current for you to work against. This added resistance is a great way to build power, enhance fitness, and get the most out of your pool sessions.
Check out some of the world’s leading swim spa brands and models at Spa World™
or download our Spa Buyers Guide to learn more.