Fun in the Sun – Aquatic Activities That Keep You Fit

Summertime has arrived along with the warm weather that comes with it. The higher temperatures make for a perfect opportunity to cool down by spending some time in the water. And there are plenty of aquatic activities that are both fun and beneficial to your physical health.

Aquatic Exercise and Chronic Disease

Water-based exercise can help people with chronic diseases. For people with arthritis, it improves use of affected joints without worsening symptoms. People with rheumatoid arthritis have more health improvements after participating in hydrotherapy than with other activities. Water-based exercise also improves the use of affected joints and decreases pain from osteoarthritis.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Swimming is a form of aerobic exercise with a wide range of physical and mental health benefits. Whether you live by an ocean, lake, or have access to a pool, swimming is a great way to stay in shape while boosting your mood.

Swimming can improve mood in both men and women. For people with fibromyalgia, it can decrease anxiety and exercise therapy in warm water can decrease depression and improve mood. Water-based exercise can improve the health of mothers and their unborn children and has a positive effect on the mothers’ mental health. Parents of children with developmental disabilities find that recreational activities, such as swimming, improve family connections.


Swimmer with swimming cap and goggles in the ocean

Walking in Water

Maybe you just don’t want to get your hair wet. Or perhaps you are looking for a way to increase the calories burned when going for a walk. Whatever the case may be, walking in water is an easy way to boost overall physical health and build muscle strength. The water provides a source of resistance that expands the physical benefits of each step you take. And if you want to up the intensity of your aquatic workout, you can use weights for increased resistance. Just remember to practice proper posture while walking in water to maximize the physical benefits while minimizing the possibility of straining your muscles.

Boy with goggles treading water

Treading Water

Even at a slow pace exerting moderate effort, treading water can burn between 3 and 7 calories per minute. And with maximum effort, treading water can burn upwards of 11 calories per minute! This form of aquatic exercise also has cardiovascular health benefits when done for an extended period of time. It is recommended that you stretch prior to treading water, and when you do begin, be sure to start off at a slower pace before increasing the intensity of the workout.

Underwater Balancing

Underwater balancing exercises provide all the health benefits associated with land-based balancing exercises; but the water helps prevent you from injuring yourself if you happen to fall. Once you have submerged yourself into the water at about waist height, lift one leg up while balancing on your other foot. After about a minute, switch to the other leg. For help maintaining your balance, consider using a swim noodle to keep the lifted leg in place. This aquatic exercise strengthens your core and leg muscles.

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