Lots of factors – including ongoing health concerns such as arthritis – can prevent us from working out, but the good news for those who suffer is that exercising in water can be a fantastic way of actually reducing joint pain, as the buoyancy of the water reduces the amount of pressure exerted upon the joints. The water also acts as a sort of resistance, which means strength-increasing activities can be performed without having to risk lifting heavy weights. Strength exercises in the water will actually work wonders for flexibility and balance, while decreasing muscle and bone loss.
Although exercise might not be a top priority for you if you’re suffering from aching joints and other age-related health problems, it’s important to remain active and in many instances increasing your exercise regime can actually alleviate the symptoms associated with arthritis.
With this in mind, we’ve decided to highlight four easy water-aerobics exercises to add to your regime in order to improve your health, fitness and overall wellbeing – so get yourself in the pool and start feeling better today!
- Flutter kicks
Flutter kicking is an incredibly low-impact cardiovascular workout, which can be performed either with or without a kick-board. If you have access to a kick-board, simply hold it in front of you as you use your legs to “flutter” your way back and forth across a pool. If you don’t have a board, fear not – simply hold on to the side of the pool while kicking your legs. This exercise is best performed at a steady tempo – feel free to increase it so that it gets the heart pumping, but don’t peak too soon, otherwise you’ll risk tiring yourself out too quickly.
- Aqua jogging
Perhaps the easiest water-based exercise, aqua jogging is another low impact routine which will get your circulation flowing. The beauty of aqua jogging lies in its simplicity – all you need to do is walk back and forth in the pool – in fact, it’s just as effective when marching on the spot! Like flutter kicks, you should consider starting at a steady pace and increasing to a comfortable level in order to give yourself a challenge, if you feel ready for it.
- Arm curls
This exercise is best performed with arm weights. Although these are not essential, they do offer that extra bit of resistance, which will make your workout more strenuous.
To perform arm curls with weights, simply hold the weights directly in front of you with your palms facing outwards, and then simply curl the weights up and down again repeatedly until you’ve tired yourself out. For variety, arm curls can also be performed with your palms facing toward you instead of away – just apply the same curling motion.
- Standing push-ups
Push-ups in water are a fantastic way to increase chest, shoulder and arm muscle mass without having to put a great deal of pressure on your joints. All you need to do is stand at the side of the pool with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-length apart from each other on the pool edge. Simply bend your arms while leaning in towards the wall before pushing yourself back out again. Standing push-ups can be repeated until you begin to “feel the burn” or become too tired – just be wary not to push yourself too hard until you know where your limits lie.