Ideal for all ages and adapt to almost all physical conditions, swimming, or aquafitness exercises – that is, those performed in water – increase muscle resistance and strength and are beneficial for the cardiovascular system. Floating also greatly reduces the risk of injury.
1) Swimming and aqua fitness: the health benefits of exercise in water
Swimming is great for all ages and adapts to almost any physical condition, in addition to its many health benefits. Because it mobilizes the main muscle groups, and both the arms and the legs, it develops muscle strength, resistance, and flexibility while acting on the cardiovascular system.
Water compensates for the weight of the body. This is why swimming and other exercises performed in water are particularly suitable for arthritis, problems affecting the neck or back, obesity, or pregnancy. In addition, because it offers more resistance to movement than air, water promotes muscular endurance and tone.
Hot water softens and warms up the muscles, giving the joints a greater range of motion and minimizing the risk of injury. Pain and body aches are rare when swimming, provided that the movements are executed correctly: for example, swimming the breaststroke while keeping the head straight and not in the extension of the neck imposes on the latter a tension which can be harmful.
2) The various benefits of swimming on your bones, muscles, and joints
Although beneficial for muscles and joints, aquatic exercises have no impact on bone density. It is, therefore, profitable to do muscle-strengthening exercises in addition to swimming. If you have osteoporosis, your doctor will probably advise you against strengthening exercises, but not swimming or aqua-gym (or aquatic gymnastics), which allow you to work with much more power because water is an element. protective.
The majority of public pools offer lessons for beginners. If you don’t like the contact of water on your face, buy swimming goggles or nose clips so you don’t have water in your nose; this will help you maintain better posture while swimming. Ask for advice on whether your swimming movements are correct in order to avoid muscle tension. If you are not in excellent physical condition or have not swum for a long time, start with a length and then rest for half a minute.
Gradually reduce this break time over the weeks, until you can swim without using it. When you feel ready, try to do 20 to 40 minutes of uninterrupted swimming, varying the strokes.
3) The health benefits of swimming and aqua fitness
Water aerobics is a great way to improve the health of your heart and vessels and, because of the significant resistance of water, to increase muscle strength.
Classes include various gentle, rhythmic movements, usually performed standing with water up to your waist or chest. When it reaches the waist, the water compensates for about 50% of the weight, while at the height of the chest this figure reaches 80 to 90%. Sometimes the exercises are done in deeper water, often using floating equipment, for work completely free of any impact. There is a whole range of specific equipment, including waterproof boards, weights, and dumbbells, or gloves offering greater resistance to movement.
Breaststroke, on the other hand, works the whole body and improves joint mobility. The action of the legs being dominant, the breaststroke particularly tones the lower body.
- Blow while splitting the water, arms and legs stretched out, face submerged.
- Spread your arms, then bring them back to your chest. Spread your legs apart, turning your feet outward, then bring your heels toward your buttocks.
- Take your head out of the water and take a breath. At the same time, push by relaxing the legs outwards then backward; you should feel the pressure of the water on the soles of your feet. Close the legs by flushing the water, then extend your arms and legs again by splitting the water, your body as straight as possible.