Aquatic workouts can be a great way to build up cardiovascular fitness while avoiding the summer heat. Alongside keeping you cool on a warm day, water-based movements are supportive and safe for people with stiff and sore joints, and according to Jennifer Smallridge, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, being in waist deep water reduces the force on your lower body by 50%. No wonder it feels so good!
For anyone looking to freshen up their fitness routine, here are five simple exercises Jennifer recommends you dive into during your next day at a pool or beach.
Waist deep water will halve the load on your joints. Walking in water can also promote stability and balance, and helps you to work on your cardiovascular fitness, all without having to pound the pavement!
To strengthen your calf muscles and ankle joints, rise up on your tip toes whilst in the water and slowly lower down. Up for a challenge? Stand on one leg!
Floating on your back
The simple act of floating is great for relaxation and lightening the load on your body. There are special floatation aids which can go around your waist and neck if you need the extra support. Some nice deep breaths would go well here.
Stand with your hands on your hips and turn your torso from side to side to feel some beautiful mobility in the lower and middle back. If you’re looking like a washing machine, you’re doing it right.
Standing on one leg, use your other leg to push down, back and around as though it were pushing a pedal on a bike. This exercise uses your core to balance, strengthens your hips and knees, and provides some lovely range of motion for the lower body.
About the author
Jennifer Smallridge is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, writer and academic lecturer with 10 years of clinical experience. She particularly loves helping people to understand the “why” behind exercise. She has a special interest in pain and fatigue, and was a finalist for ESSA’s Exercise Physiologist of the Year in 2018. Her favourite type of exercise is dancing and walking her dog Barney.