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Water Fitness: A Well-Kept Secret

Mar 22, 2017

WaterART is an acronym for understanding how to design purposeful programs. We believe that the Application of Science is an Art. Our programs will take you through a system that helps you to understand the differences between land and water fitness whether in a group or training individually. Our motto is Exercise with a Purpose

training tip of the month

"I don't have to visit the chiropractor!" "The doctor has cut my BP medication in half." "There is no stress on my knees!" "I can perform movements in water that I could never do on land."

These are just some of the affirmations I heard at the pool this morning when I asked why everyone had driven through a snowstorm to get there. Those dedicated people have discovered the secret of staying active using the benefits of exercising the WaterART way.

Why Water?

Whether you are old or young, athletic or not so fit, exercise in the water offers every type of program that you may find on land but with less wear and tear on the body. In water, anyone can exercise to improve or maintain fitness levels, work out pain free, use powerful movement or float freely like an astronaut, and receive a free massage at the same time! You do not have to be a swimmer or even get your hair wet.

The benefits from water exercise easily compete with those gained from training on land. When trained properly, individuals experience greater improvements with less pain and discomfort, and in a safer environment. There is no possibility for falling and breaking bones, and there is significantly less stress on joints. Body weight can be unloaded 50%–80% in shallow water or can work with negligible vertical stress in deep water.

Training specific functional movements in water can especially help the aging population to maintain independence through muscular strength, balance, mobility, agility, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. The key is to have a wide and progressive exercise inventory for a total-body program.

Research has confirmed that simply dropping land movements into water will not elicit the same intensity or results as doing those moves on land. However, using the protection of the water and water-specific equipment is the key for keeping programs progressive, interesting and, most importantly, effective.

Here are some advantages of water exercise as compared with land:

Land Water
Strenuous exercise elicits delayed muscle soreness. Water dissipates blood lactate, with the massage effects of water helping with recovery.
Many experience joint pain, especially with overuse activities. Weak muscles are naturally strengthened, while tight muscles are naturally stretched. This helps with injury prevention.
Gravity makes lifting heavier, and joints bear from 0%–100% of body weight. Hydrostatic pressure adds traction, decreases inflammation and provides multidimensional resistance.
The body is surrounded by air, so there is no resistance or support without equipment. Water's multidimensional resistance provides 12x–14x resistance without equipment.
Fear of falling is of high concern for older adults. This can lead to inactivity and disability. Water offers security, confidence and the ability to move. Fall prevention may be trained safely with movement cushioned by water surrounding the body.
Gravity and repetitive activities of daily living literally wear out the body. Hydrostatic pressure adds traction, decreases inflammation and provides multidimensional resistance.
Core muscles are not naturally engaged. Core musculature is constantly engaged (when moving against water and staying off the wall).
Equipment is normally required to increase the intensity of an exercise. Resistance increases exponentially with lever length or hand position. Equipment adds variety, challenge and unique angles of pull for muscular contractions.

Water exercise easily transforms painful activity into pleasurable and functional movement for maximal benefits in minimal time. Participants can train effectively in the water for sports, social activities, and all personal and household tasks. Discover and benefit from the many magical properties of water. You might find the Fountain of Youth!

IDEA Fit Tips, Volume 15, Issue 4

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