There are plenty of easy aquatic exercises besides swimming. They’re highly beneficial because they provide both cardiovascular and strength-building workouts. And, as an added bonus, they’re low-impact exercises. That means they don’t cause much wear on the bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles as compared to high-impact exercises like running on the hard ground or doing step aerobics.
This makes water-based workouts ideal for seniors, people with all sorts of disabilities, and people going through certain types of rehabilitation. But these groups are also often at elevated risk of getting hurt during exercise, and of having difficulties or drowning in the water. This makes the below safety tips for aquatic exercise especially important.
Regardless whether you’re in one of these categories, safety is always a priority concern during any workout regimen and during any time spent in the water. Some basic precautions and common sense minimize the risk of injury and other mishaps, so take a just few minutes to read through these safety tips for aquatic exercise.
Tips for Water Workout Safety
- Consult your physician before starting any new workout regimen for personalized advice about starting out, building up, and preventing complications related to any health conditions
- Get acquainted with the layout of the pool before starting your exercise, including the water height and where the depth changes, where ladders and other safety features are located, etc.
- Do aquatic exercises with a friend, group, trainer, physical therapist, or other partner—or at the very least, when there’s a lifeguard on duty
- Walk carefully—and never run—around the outside of the pool; pool decks can be slippery
- Be careful getting into and out of the pool; use the ladders or stairs and hold onto the handrails, as the steps can be slippery
- Don’t go into deeper water than is needed to effectively perform a particular exercise, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer; many only require being in water that’s about waist deep
- You won’t notice how much you’re sweating in the water, but you are; remember to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- If you feel overheated, cold, dizzy, fatigued, short of breath, or otherwise unwell, or if you develop a cramp of sustain even a minor injury, exit the pool right away
- Stick to an intensity level that’s comfortable and appropriate for your fitness level
- Perform aquatic exercise routines for shorter periods a few times per week, rather than trying to get through an excruciating marathon workout
- Remember to keep breathing; a lot of people tend to hold their breath in the water
- Take the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings for any accessories you use for working out in the water
- Brush up on best practices for preventing athlete’s foot and preventing plantar warts once you start spending time around the pool and in public locker rooms, changing rooms, and showers