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Why you should take your workout to the water this summer
28 January, 2021
As we head into summer, the sports making a splash are ones that can be done in the water. We spoke to personal trainer Di Clapp about the benefits of water-based fitness.
There’s no need to get a sweat up to stay fit during summer – thanks to the many kinds of exercise that can be done in the water, it’s never been easier to cool down and tone up at the same time.
Once upon a time, those looking to exercise in the water were limited to swimming laps. Now, with the advent of fitness styles like H2O Pilates and Tai Chi Hydro – not to mention classic aqua aerobics – there is a variety of water-based fitness for everyone.
“Water-based fitness is beloved for its health benefits,” says Di, who has been teaching water classes for 30 years. “There are so many styles of water-based fitness available now, all serving different – though equally beneficial – purposes.”
Aqua aerobics is one favourite, and for good reason. Ideal for those who have issues with weight-bearing exercises, aqua aerobics helps you increase muscle strength without straining.
“Aqua aerobics – along with many other styles of water-based fitness – removes the force of gravity which, when combined with the buoyancy provided by the water, helps you feel lighter and nimbler,” says Di.
Forms of exercise that may present complications on land can be made more accessible when performed in the water. Di explains that H20 Pilates, for example, is less cardiovascular based than traditional Pilates, allowing you to better focus on posture, flexibility and a deep core connection.
Aqua aerobics, on the other hand, offers a cardiovascular workout while also encouraging core engagement, muscle strength and flexibility.
“One great benefit of working out in the water is that it keeps you cooler, so there is less risk of overheating – it’s the ideal summer workout,” says Di. “Water also allows for more adaptability in terms of the intensity of your workout. It is very easy to maximise the force of the water resistance to suit your strength, thus tailoring your workout.”
Exercising in a vertical position offers additional benefits, particularly for those with limited neck and shoulder mobility. Keeping your head above the water also allows for greater social interaction and engagement with the music being played, which Di says is one big reason people – particularly busy parents – keep coming back for more.
“To the untrained eye, water-based training can look like it doesn’t take much effort,” says Di. “But there are so many benefits to working with water, and when you do it right, you will feel them.”