There are often two kinds of pool owners: those who swim in the pool and those who lounge by it. If you are swimming kind, you may already know a thing or two about aquatic fitness. And if you’re the lounging kind, why not get a little more out of your investment by using the pool as a place to workout? No need to drive to the gym when you have “liquid gym” right at home!
Because water’s resistance is over 10 times greater than that of the air, swimming laps is a great way to burn calories. But if you don’t want to give up your elliptical machine, treadmill, or other cardio machine of choice, no worries: There are home ellipticals, treadmills, and bikes, designed specifically for in-water use. The benefits of exercising in water are that the movements are more challenging, due to water’s resistance, and the exercises are very low-impact, meaning there’s less risk for injury.
“When you exercise in water, you get a total body workout and a fast way to improve general strength, stamina, and cardiovascular fitness,” says Michael Factor of Aqquatix USA, a manufacturer of aquatic fitness equipment, owned by Pool Fitness, Inc. “The viscosity (density) of water allows you to push, pull, run, and cycle much harder.”
Factor also explains how you can improve your core muscles by through aquatic fitness: “If you want to strengthen your core, maintain a vertical alignment on either an underwater bike or treadmill, keeping core musculature in a constant state of work,” he says. “Water’s buoyancy offers a safe core training environment.”
Aquatic fitness machines and related equipment are available from a number of manufacturers. In addition to selling underwater treadmills and bikes, Aqquatix USA offers other fitness aids, such as resistance gloves and a unique aid for upper body resistance called the Happy Flower (which, if you are wondering, does in fact look like a happy flower!)
With exercise aids and machines like these right at your fingertips, you may be more inclined to hop off the lounge chair and give them a try. Once you experience the benefits of aquatic exercise, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle.
Photo courtesy of Pool Fitness, Inc./Aqquatix USA