Swimming is one of the best all-around exercises you can do! In addition to the positives of improving strength, stamina, and cardiovascular health, swimming lacks the negatives of many traditional forms of exercise, particularly the impact damage that can be done to joints. Because the buoyancy of water lowers the impact when exercising, water-based exercise can be a terrific choice for people with the joint pain caused by arthritis or the mobility issues associated with a variety of chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. At the same time, the natural resistance of water provides means that your exercise is more strenuous. According to the CDC, water exercise has also been shown to improve bone density, decrease pain from conditions like osteoarthritis, and to improve mental health. With all those additional benefits and with the combination of lowering impact and increasing resistance, it’s hard to find a better place to exercise than your pool!
“Activity in the water is terrific, but even standing in a pool or sitting in a hot tub provides heart and respiratory exercise,” adds Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO with the National Swimming Pool Foundation. “How often do you get to sit on your backside and get heart benefits?” he adds.
You can easily exercise in a pool even if you aren’t a strong swimmer or even if you can’t swim at all! Many people find that the simplest variations on traditional exercises they would do while out of the water work just as well in the pool. Simply walking or running are convenient options, as are basic exercise techniques such as lifting weights or doing pushups. With special water-friendly equipment, even things like riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill are possible!