My name is Christine Alexander. I am passionate about water fitness and I’m not the only one! There are millions of people participating in water fitness classes in the United States.
By now nobody still believes (I hope!) that water fitness is just for little old ladies in shower caps. And most people can name a few of the benefits of exercising in the water. For example, water conducts heat away from the body keeping exercisers cool and comfortable during exertion, a big plus during the hot summer months here in Texas! Buoyancy offloads the joints, making movement comfortable for people recovering from injuries and others with chronic illnesses.
There are other benefits that are not so well known. Dr. Bruce Becker, a research professor at Washington State University, where he directs the National Aquatics and Sports Medicine Institute, outlined these benefits for the International Aquatics virtual conference on November 8, 2011:
- Just getting in the pool lowers blood pressure for most people, and this effect lingers for awhile after you get out of the pool.
- Hydrostatic pressure against the chest increases the work of breathing, which strengthens the muscles of respiration.
- Hydrostatic pressure pushes blood out to the extremities, increasing stroke volume and cardiac output, while at the same time lowering the heart rate.
- The increased cardiac output means greater blood volume is pushed through the kidneys, which in turn improves kidney function and increases urine output.
- Blood flow to the muscles increases an amazing 250%. The extra blood flow helps heal damaged tissue.
All of this with no side effects! Dr. Becker encouraged everyone involved in aquatics to spread the word about how beneficial it is to exercise in the water. These and many other amazing benefits are listed on my website at www.waterfitnesslessons.com. Now that I’ve told you, it’s your turn. Tell someone else why he or she should exercise in the water. See you at the pool!