Water- vs. land-based exercise: how to choose the right type for you

Now that the weather is getting warmer, our previous blog discussed the benefits of outdoor exercise. Another popular type of exercise during this time of year and into summer is heading to the pool or beach for some water-based activity! Today’s blog will explore the advantages of aqua exercise, its key differences to land-based activity, and how to choose which type is suitable for you.

The four principles of water

These principles are what makes aqua activity beneficial for specific populations (Williams, Barreria & Tseh, 2020).

The benefits

For chronic illness: the non-weight bearing nature of being in water allows us to move in a range of motion that we may not be able to achieve on land due to having musculoskeletal pain like fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In other words, the buoyancy of water is ‘softer’ on our joints. Studies show that water-based activity improves one’s ability to use arthritic joints without exacerbating pain (Fisken et al., 2015).

For mental health: many people find that they are able to move more with less pain in water, which can reduce anxiety and fear of further pain. Exercising in warm water has also been suggested to decrease depression and improve mood (Silva et al., 2019).

For older adults: water-based activity can improve mobility and balance, reduce disability and increase quality of life (Silva et al., 2019).

Other benefits: keeps you cool during the warmer months, is relatively cheap and requires minimal equipment.

The drawbacks

Despite its many benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks that need to be considered if you are thinking about commencing a water-based activity.

Water-based vs Land-based: How do I choose?

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Do what you enjoy!

If you are unsure whether water-based exercise is for you, firstly check whether it is safe for you then give it a go! The most important thing is that you find a form of physical activity that you enjoy, because you are more likely to stick at it. My recommendation is that for those who really enjoy being in the water, go for it but ensure you are still doing some form of land-based exercise every week.

If you have any questions about this blog, please speak to me or one of the other exercise physiologists at Healthy Connections.

As always, stay safe, wash your hands and keep moving!

Sophie

Public Announcement – Changes to our opening hours and prices

Just a quick reminder to those who attend Healthy Connections – as of Monday 21st September, we are open from 6am-12pm and 2pm-5pm every weekday for Members sessions (no longer open until 6pm) and 7am-10am on Saturday mornings.

Also, our new price for 1-on-1 exercise physiology services is $125 per hour, with 30-minute consults at $62.50. For further information, please speak to one of our friendly staff in the clinic or call us on 3624 2185.

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