Choose Location

Aquatic exercise benefits and techniques

Your Phoenix pool can be used for more than just leisure. Swimming is a great way to maintain a healthy body and get in your daily physical activity.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two and a half hours of aerobic exercise per week can decrease the risk of chronic illness. Swimming can improve health for people with diabetes and heart disease. Water-based exercise is also a good way to help with arthritis, as affected joints don't have as much pressure on them as they do on land. The CDC reported that people with rheumatoid arthritis have more health improvements after completing hydrotherapy than with any other activity. Swimming can also benefit mental health by boosting your mood and decreasing anxiety and depression.

Greg Moe, trainer for Rough-Fit outdoor fitness programs, told Fitness magazine that treading water powerfully can burn 11 calories a minute, which is about the same as a six mile per hour run.

"Water's continuous resistance forces you to engage more muscle fibers through a larger range of motion," Moe told Fitness magazine.

Instead of hitting the gym, consider swimming laps around your pool. If swimming isn't your style, there are still plenty of aquatic exercises that you can do. Shape magazine suggested half suspended jumping jacks. In waist-level water or higher, jump and put your legs out like you would do for a jumping jack, but don't let your feet hit the pool's bottom when you bring your legs together. Also, consider frog jumps. Start with your heels together and knees bent outward in a squatting position. Then, jump as high as you can out of the water and return to the same position. The higher the water level, the harder this exercise will be.

If those exercises aren't for you, get some water weights and build muscle the old-fashioned way.