Ask fellow gym members about water fitness and you might get a blank look. Most people don’t know much about training medium except that it is a low-impact way to exercise.
There are several advantages to exercising in the water including buoyancy, which decreases the amount of force on your joints. If you are recovering from injury, that means less pain and an increased range of motion. When you’re not aching, you can reach farther and strengthen muscles you’ve neglected.
Buoyancy is also beneficial for performance athletes. Cross training in the water strengthens muscles without increasing the impact on your joints. Adding water workouts to your training provides an active recovery and often alleviates boredom.
In the summer, try an outdoor pool for lane swimming or a fitness class. During the long Canadian winter, consider a deep-water running class to save you from icy sidewalks.
Almost anyone can benefit from water fitness. Athletes will want a high intensity deep water workout like a tethered class or a boot camp.
Classes in therapy pools might work if you have a chronic condition or injury. Speak to your instructor in advance to let them know your challenges. If you can’t swim, don’t worry – there are accommodations and floatation devices for you.
Whatever your fitness goals, training in water can be a safe place to strengthen and add intensity.