Did you know that a 150-pound woman weighs a mere 17-pounds in the water?

This is because of the water’s buoyant effect on the human body. This lack of gravity in water is why so many people with joint and muscle pain, and those who are extremely obese, turn to aqua fitness to get their health back. Water fitness is extremely gentle because it cushions the body, putting zero stress on weight-bearing joints and muscles. As a result, aquatic workouts are extremely low-impact and can greatly reduce the chances of further injury and strain – that the same exercises out of water can actually induce.

Those new to aqua fitness will find that exercising in water is gentle and allows for a wider range of movement, which means you are able to move in all directions. This is beneficial to many who are obese or injured – who wouldn’t be able to lift their legs and arms this way out of the water. The water lends its gentle resistance to help build muscle strength and tone safely. Just try to lift your leg up when it’s under water and you will feel the drag and resistance – see you are feeling the effects of gravity underwater.

6 Tips for Water-Friendly Workouts:

1. Although aqua workouts are considered one of the gentlest, please consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

2. Make sure the body part you want to exercise is fully submerged.

3. Any exercises should be slow and gentle under the water.

4. Complete each exercise to its full range of motion.

5. Stop immediately if you experience any pain.

6. Start with 5 repetitions and gradually move up to 8 and then 10 – once you feel comfortable.

If you are a water workout novice, and are looking to add a new challenge to your aqua workout routines, try incorporating some free-standing cardio equipment – such as:

Aqua floats – These easily strap onto various parts of the body – the upper arms, ankles, waist and wrist – and keep the body buoyant in the water. The most popular float used in water aerobics classes is the flotation belt. These are used for exercising in deep water because they keep your body afloat and in proper alignment during your workout.

Kick boards – These also support your weight so you can perform lower body exercises in the water.

Swim fins – Although these are typically used for scuba diving and snorkeling, shorter swim fins are used for adding resistance (or webbed feet) to your water workout.

Anna Fleet