Water jogging provides similar cardiovascular benefits as jogging on land without the impact, making the activity ideal for older adults or anyone with joint problems or injuries. The exercise also burns a significant number of calories to help you manage your weight. And on hot summer days, jogging in the swimming pool instead of on the road can help prevent overheating.
Land jogging is a high-impact exercise and can be hard on your muscles, bones and joints. By jogging in the water, you avoid this impact and therefore reduce the risk of pain and injury. Thus, the exercise is a good fit for people with arthritis or other medical conditions. Sometimes, athletes who injure themselves on the track or field will perform water jogging to help retain muscle memory during recovery. However, water jogging does not offer as high a level of athletic conditioning as land jogging, weight-management expert Dr. Wayne Smith told the “San Francisco Chronicle.”
Water is far denser than air, providing greater resistance against your muscles to help tone them. As you jog through water, you’ll develop greater core strength because you have to use your stomach, back and hip muscles to maintain balance. If your jogging workout also includes arm movements, such as cupping your hands and pushing the water aside, you’ll also tone your upper-body muscles. For increased muscle-building benefits, try using resistance equipment such as hand webs.
Water jogging elevates your heart and breathing rates to provide an aerobic workout. Aerobic exercise provides some important health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure and healthier cholesterol levels. It also increases your endurance so can handle everyday activities without tiring as quickly. You may also reduce your risk of certain types of cancers and help prevent diabetes. As you grow older, aerobic activity can help you maintain your physical fitness so you remain independent as long as possible.
If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your present shape, water jogging may help. In a pilot study published in the “Journal of Obesity” in 2010, researchers examined 15 otherwise healthy obese subjects as they participated in twice-weekly water jogging sessions for six weeks. At the end of the study, participants had less body fat and a smaller waist circumference. They also improved markers of overall quality of life, such as increased walking distance in a six-minute test and greater self-esteem.
If you don’t already exercise, please consult your doctor before starting a water-jogging program.
References & Resources
- San Francisco Chronicle: Injured Runners Get a Leg up with Aqua Jogging
- Why Choose Swimming; Janet Evans
- American Council on Exercise: Make a Splash With Water Fitness
- MayoClinic.com: Slide Show: Aquatic Exercise How To’s
- MayoClinic.com: Aerobic Exercise: Top 10 Reasons to Get Physical
- Journal of Obesity: Effects of Aquajogging in Obese Adults: a Pilot Study