Aquatic Exercise Is A Great Way to Beat the Heat
Summer brings with it many wonderful things, but it’s known for its heat.
High temperatures and humidity levels mean you need to take some special considerations while exercising to avoid the twin dangers of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
One option to beat the heat is aquatic exercises, because they’re fun, you can cool off and also put less stress on joints.
In the water, your joints get a break from the effects of gravity, since the water holds a great deal of your body. With gravity reduced, exercising in the water can feel much more comfortable, especially on arthritic joints or for people who suffer from injuries.
The water also provides natural resistance, so each time you move, in any direction, you will be working muscles to push and pull your body through the water. Activity in the water also can challenge your balance if you’re working with a group.
The movement of the water from the people around you can cause those muscles that stabilize your body to work harder to keep you upright. If you lose your balance, don’t worry, the same water that was challenging you stops you from tipping over too fast!
If you are thinking about trying some exercise in the water, here are some things to consider.
- It is OK to wear water shoes, as they can protect your feet whether you are in the pool or in a lake.
- You still sweat in the water; you just may not feel it as much, so remember to drink plenty of water.
- If you are outside, wear sunscreen and sunglasses. Protect that skin and your eyes from the reflection of the sun off the water.
- Pay attention to the air temperature. If you are outside, consider the time of day that would take you out of the heat. Even when you’re working out in an indoor pool, the air can be warm, so make sure you start easy and gauge how your body tolerates the heat and humidity.
- Gradually increase your intensity as you feel comfortable.
Many on-land exercises easily translate to the water, including aerobics and running. Developing an approach for your aquatic exercise program with a physical therapist is a surefire way to get good results, since they can assess your strength, flexibility and balance before you begin. Then together you design a program that meets your needs, get moving in the water and all the while, beat the heat of summer. A physical therapist can help you tailor your approach to achieve the best outcome.
The many benefits of this form of activity are great even when it’s not hot out. So start it this summer and you could have a new year-round routine you can look forward to every time you’re exercising.