Running Underwater – Who Knew it Could be so Great?

October 27, 2010 · 4 comments

This is a guest post by Lucia Novara.

The benefits of aquatic workouts for training and rehabilitation are well-documented. Many personal trainers and physical therapists recommend water workouts for a variety of reasons:

  1. Water workouts build cardio endurance faster than land workouts. When a body is submerged in cool water, the blood moves faster to warm it up. Combined with aerobic activity, this builds cardiovascular strength.
  2. The average 30 minute pool workout burns about 300 calories. Workouts can include swimming laps, water aerobics, or even using state-of-the-art water treadmills. New aquatic treadmills even offer adjustable resistance jets to change workout intensity levels and can be transported from pool to pool.
  3. Physical trainers use aquatic therapy to help people recover from surgeries and injuries. Water supports body weight so patients feel less fatigue and can use a wider range of motion. Aquatic therapy is especially useful for patients who have arthritis, fractured bones, or who are overweight. By decreasing the amount of joint stress it is easier and less painful to perform exercises. Also, the patients do not have to worry about further injury from falling as they push themselves to improve.
  4. The warmth of water also helps relax muscles and open blood vessels, increasing blood flow to injured areas. This is especially helpful for people with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia.
  5. When strength training, muscles need “off-days” to repair themselves. Many trainers use pool workouts on rest days to facilitate active recovery. The lack of impact on joints and muscles due to the buoyancy of the water helps athletes recover from intense workouts. A pool workout on a rest day still burns fat and helps muscles recover.

While many water workouts can be done in a traditional pool, there are now state-of-the-art training pools available as well. These pools have features including a moveable floor, water treadmills, resistance jet technology, and computer and camera systems to monitor patient’s recovery and athlete’s performance improvement. Whether just swimming laps or performing advanced training, aquatic workouts are a great addition to any workout routine.

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Greg October 27, 2010 at 6:10 am

I have a friend who detests workouts, but someone convinced her to try water aerobics and she’s decided they’re wonderful. Loves them.

Cynthia October 27, 2010 at 11:31 am

I use pool workouts because I have bad/feet ankles that right now, just won’t take a lot of dry land workouts. Pool workouts are not just good for cardio, they work your muscles quite a bit as well! There’s a lot of resistance to wading through water.

John's Weight Loss Blog October 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I always get so hungry when I swim, so I know it’s a good workout the challenge is to stay away from the food after!

Cynthia October 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I find that I also get very hungry from water workouts. The trick for me is to keep the water workouts so that they are NOT intense workouts. And then I try to eat a good filling post workout meal, something like oatmeal, scrambled egg whites, a fruit or veggie, etc… the key for me is lower calorie, but good volume food, so I satisfy the hunger reasonably, without adding too many calories.

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