Water Training: More Than Swimming “Upstream” for Fitness
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
You can do more than swim in a pool. Water training can be fun! Taking the plunge has many benefits, some of which make exercising in water even better than exercising on land. Read on to find out why water training is popular with people who want to stay fit and serious athletes alike.
Why You Jump in the Water
Water has many benefits that land exercise do not, such as:
Benefits of Water Exercise
There are also many physical benefits, such as:
There are also social benefits, especially if you take group classes. Water also fosters a positive attitude, feelings of well-being, and relief from stress.
Types of Water Exercises
Other Creative Water Exercises
Adjusting Workout Intensity
Water offers so much resistance. This makes increasing the intensity of a workout as easy as moving to the deeper end of the pool. Decreasing the intensity of your workout can also be done by standing in shallow water or floating on your back.
You can also use equipment to adjust the intensity of your workout, such as:
For example, flotation belts or kick boards can help you work less to stay afloat. This makes the workout easier. Old tennis rackets may add more resistance and let you build up muscle groups needed for that sport.
Tips on Getting Started
So, whether you want to dive right in or would rather ease into the water, talk with your doctor about whether water training is right for you.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
United States Water Fitness Association, Inc.
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Health benefits of water-based exercise. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/health_benefits_water_exercise.html. Accessed October 14, 2021.
Information regarding water exercise. United States Water Fitness Association, Inc. website. Available at:
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Accessed October 14, 2021.
Last reviewed October 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 10/14/2021
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