In the cold winter months when we can’t get outside to exercise, the pool can be the place to turn. Whether you’re rehabbing an injury or trying to prevent one, the water can be an effective tool.
Exercising and running in deep water provides resistance in all directions challenging opposing muscles to work equally and can also improve cardiovascular endurance, strength & flexibility. The hydrostatic pressure of water is great for reducing swelling by promoting circulation and blood flow.
When running outside or even on a treadmill, our joints take on stress by constant pounding on a hard surface. Wearing a floatation belt in the deep water at neck level, we are about 10% weight bearing. This may sound like deep water running would be easy but think again- water has more resistance than air and there are plenty of ways to increase that resistance. Different forms include: ankle cuffs (flotation), gloves, barbells, and tethered running.
Aqua jogging in deep water draws similarities to over-ground running in regards to body positioning, form and stride -keep in mind these are key elements when in the water. Maintaining a vertical position challenges the core muscles and the resistance of the water challenges the arms which is one difference from running on land. According to Dr. Robert Wilder, physiologist and director of sports rehabilitation at the
Sunday Times," water running burns 11.5 calories per minute. Using this
figure, water running for 30 minutes will burn about 345 calories and an entire
hour of water jogging will burn about 690 calories! These numbers are just
estimates but in any case everyone has something to gain from deep water
running, no matter your fitness level. University of Virginia
Blog post by Farran Jalbert.