▷ The Benefits of Water Walking
If you love walking but want to change up your usual routine, water walking is an ideal option to improve your fitness.
This low-impact exercise can not only give you a great cardio training, but also help you burn calories while strengthening many muscle groups.
Here is a look at the benefits of walking in the water, how to practice it safely and variations you can try to improve your fitness.
What are the benefits of walking in water ?
Water is much denser than air. Exercising in water requires more effort than the same exercise on land.
The added resistance of water walking allows you to challenge and strengthen your muscles differently than out of the water. It also helps you burn more calories, which can help you lose weight.
Water walking is a low-impact cardio exercise. This means it's gentler on your joints, making it a safer exercise option for people with arthritis, osteoporosis or fibromyalgia.
By putting less strain and stress on your body, walking on water can also be a good workout for the following people
- pregnant women
- people recovering from an injury
- the elderly
- people new to exercise.
A 2015 study also reported that walking in water can improve your heart rate more than regular walking. This can make your heart and lungs work harder.
According to another study, walking in water can help lower blood pressure, especially for people who don't exercise. no exercise for a long time. Finally, a Trust Source study of patients with spinal stenosis found that 12 weeks of walking in water helped improve their balance and muscle function.
For injury rehabilitation
Water walking is a great choice for injured athletes as it allows them to maintain fitness without the discomfort or aggravation of injury associated with impact with the ground. In fact, water walking in deep water during injury rehabilitation can help maintain your fitness level.
You don't have to wait to be injured to waterwalk. This activity is a great way to stay healthy to cross-train as it can help prevent injuries.
For a gentler aerobic fitness
Due to hydrostatic pressure (or the force with which water pushes), your heart rate will be approximately 10-15 beats per minute lower when running through water than compared to an identical effort on earth.
For low impact exercise
Water walking is considered a low impact exercise, which makes it particularly good for people with joint pain, including arthritis, as the buoyancy of water reduces weight to just 10% of total body weight when immersed in water up to the neck.
Strengthens the whole body
Water exercise also offers a unique form of resistance training because movements in water have 12 times the resistance of air.Vertical positions, such as water walking, provide four times the resistance of horizontal positions, such as swimming
Lighten the load on the lower body
Water walking significantly reduces pressure on large, weight-bearing joints, such as the hips or knees, which can become weak or painful during activities on land. In addition, the buoyancy of the water relieves the spine of the forces of gravity, which facilitates the improvement of general movement.
What do you need ?
You don't need a lot of equipment to do water walking, and most gyms have equipment available for you to use. Some fitness centers even have water treadmills or ellipticals you can use.
If you plan to do water walking at a gym or as part of a course, you will probably only need a towel, a swimming cap and, if you wish, a pair of goggles.
While the use of a swim belt or flotation device is optional, many people are not comfortable in the water; using a belt can therefore build confidence and allow for a better workout. It also helps you lean forward, like when running on land. So if one of your goals is to focus on form, you can try a buoyancy belt.
On the other hand, if you wish to practiceaquatic walking or coastal walking at sea (and thus take advantage of the sea air), depending of the season you may need a wetsuit. Essential accessory the water shoes will protect your feet.
How to walk in water ?
To start, try walking in waist-deep water. Be sure to walk with good posture. To do this keep :
- core and back muscles engaged
- back straight and elongated
- shoulders back
- chin up, head looking straight ahead
- ears above shoulders.
- When walking through water, try to make sure you keep your torso upright without leaning too far forward or to the side
- walk with a long stride
- press down on your heel first before rolling your weight onto your toes
- swing your arms while walking.
Once you are used to walking in water with the correct posture, you can move on to deeper water. Start by walking slowly and gradually increase your speed.
Once you get used to walking in water, you can vary your routine with a few moves.
Start with one round of each move and gradually increase until you can do two or three rounds of each move.
Raising your knees higher can add intensity to water walking. It also works your leg and core muscles, as well as your glutes and hip flexors.
To do this variation, engage your core and raise your right knee as high as you can.
At the same time, raise your left arm.
Switch and do the same with your left knee and right arm.
Lunges as you walk
They work the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes.For this exercise, step into waist-deep water and then step forward with your right foot
- Lower your front thigh so that it is parallel to the bottom of the pool. Make sure your right knee is in line with your ankle, without going over it. Keep your back leg straight.
- Bring your left foot forward, and continue stepping forward with your left leg.
- A variation of this exercise is to do side lunges instead of forward lunges. Side lunges work the adductor muscles, located on the inside of the thighs.
- This variation of water walking targets the inner and outer muscles of your thighs.
- To do this exercise, stand sideways with your right hip forward.
- Step sideways with your right foot.
- Bring your left foot to meet your right foot.
- Continue like this until you reach the end of the pool.
- Retrace your steps, left hip leading.
Method to make exercise more difficult
For the lower body, you can create a more challenging workout by using ankle weights.
Another way to increasing the intensity is to jog instead of walking through water. You can also do interval training by jogging or running for 30 seconds and then walking at your usual speed for a few minutes. You can continue to alternate between a faster and slower pace for 5-10 minutes.
Stay hydrated. You may not notice how much you sweat when working out in the water. It's important to stay well hydrated, especially if you're in a heated pool.
Wear a flotation device. This is especially useful if you're not a strong swimmer or have balance issues.
Stop if you feel pain. Do not try to force a movement if you do not feel comfortable.
Avoid pools heated above 32.2°C. Swimming pools heated between 27.8 and 31°C can help relieve pain, but it can be dangerous to exercise in water heated above this temperature.
Stop immediately and seek help if you feel:
- dizziness or vertigo
- difficulty breathing
- you pass out or feel faint
- pain or pressure in the chest or upper body
- nauseous state
- confusion state
Start small and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. You can make exercise fun and interesting by trying exercises and using different equipment. By doing this, you may find water walking an integral part of your fitness routine.