Tired of trying to lift weights or run on hard pavement? Well, you might want to consider this alternative — get wet!
Aquatic exercise is rapidly becoming the way for people to achieve their fitness goals — and here’s the good part — you don’t have to suffer with muscle or joint pain to reach those goals. Aquatic exercise decreases stress on joints, bones and muscles while increasing blood flow and lung function.
Who it’s for
Whether you’re already a conditioned athlete or someone who has an ailment or condition that prevents you from normal exercise, this aquatic alternative could be just the change you’ve been looking for.
“For those individuals with arthritis or other joint problems, pre/post natal women, sedentary people, those recovering from injury or anyone who wants an alternative fitness program, aquatics would be a perfect choice,” said researcher, BS, LPTA, CWT. Researcher is an aquatic specialist who is certified by the Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Industry. She teaches medically-based aquatic exercise classes at Baptist Rehab Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine located at Cordova Athletic Club.
Why it works
Regardless of your athletic history, aquatic therapy takes advantage of the natural buoyancy of water, which means you weigh less. That helps you focus on exercising your muscles and getting healthy instead of on the pain and stress associated with other forms of exercise. Water exercise also offers as much as 12 times the amount of resistance than activities on land. This extra resistance can increase endurance, strength and cardiopulmonary fitness, while also improving balance and flexibility.
One student’s success story
Nancy is a perfect example of the benefits of this alternative exercise. Nancy, who works in Germantown, used aquatic exercise at Baptist-Germantown after suffering injuries from a car accident. At 5-foot-1, her post-wreck weight went up to 220 pounds.
“I had to do something,” she said. “It was the first thing I tried. I just went over and checked it out and really liked the people. I fit right in.”
Five months and 75 pounds later, she’s gone from a size 22 to a size 8.
She had apprehensions at first about being in front of a group of people, but since that first visit, she says it’s the people in her class that keep her going back.
“I enjoy the exercise, but once I got past the idea of the bathing suit and the water, it’s been amazing,” she said. “It’s become a really nice community, and the support is very important.”
Aquatic exercise is a refreshing, low-to-no impact aerobic exercise that will have you feeling better than you have in years. This can be your chance to work off that weight, get fit and have fun doing it.