Many exercise enthusiasts have turned to aquatic exercise. Aquatic exercise is an activity that millions of people are engaging in and it is gaining in popularity. It is easy on your knee joints and back, and has been used in sports rehabilitation and physical rehabilitation for years, but it has now entered the mainstream. It is used not only for rehabilitation, but offers other benefits as well; increases lung capacity, burns calories, tones and strengthens muscles, and the list goes on.
When we think of aquatic exercise, we tend to think of the following of lap swimming, water walking or jogging, or water aerobics.
Although these are excellent forms of exercise, aquatic exercise equipment that was once available only for professional gyms and fitness centers has now become available for pool owners. Some of the unique equipment available is as follows:
Exercise gloves, or webbed gloves, provide resistance for upper body conditioning. They are available in different sizes and are used for lap swimming.
Buoyancy belts allow you to exercise in deep water allowing your body to be suspended while keeping your head above water.
Water weights are great for resistance training to improve muscle development. They are usually constructed of foam or plastic with cushioned handgrips that are long lasting, even when used in the chemically treated water of a swimming pool.
Swimming tether (also called swim cords)
Swim jets have been installed in pools for years for resistance swimming. If your pool is not equipped with these swim jets, there is now an alternative. A bungee style line is secured around your ankle or waist and extends to the side of the pool where it is tied to a ladder, rope anchors, etc. They allow you to swim in place for cardiovascular conditioning, weight loss and increased endurance.
Exercise paddles simulate rowing movements which tones and strengthens your upper body.
Kickboards have been around for years but are still one the most common aquatic exercise aids. They are great for any age and any level of swimmer and are lightweight and inexpensive.
If you do not own a pool or prefer group activities, many communities have aquatic exercise classes—many of these use indoor pools, which allow for year-round aquatic programs.
As with any exercise program, it is important to check with your physician prior to beginning an aquatic exercise program.