Water exercise provides most of the benefits of other exercise without some of the drawbacks.
- The buoyancy of water means that it's almost impossible to fall.
- The buoyancy supports the body and reduces strain on joints. In chest-deep water, the water supports the majority of the body's weight.
- Water exercise is feasible for overweight individuals and for those with knee, ankle and hip pain because the water helps to support the weight of the body.
- Water exercise is feasible for those recovering from many types of surgery.
- The water cools the body, which is important for individuals who must avoid overheating.
- Water exercise is resistance training because water is harder to move in than air, providing many times the resistance.
- Strength training is possible in the water through the use of foam "weights."
- In the water, one can work on balance without fear of falling.
- Indoor pools make exercise feasible in all seasons and weather.
- Aerobic exercise in the water improves cardiovascular fitness.
- A water exercise class is a good place for meeting others with similar needs.
- Following the instructions of an instructor also engages the brain.
- Water provides a soothing massage and increases feelings of well-being.
- Many participants find that water exercise is great fun!
The drawbacks of aquatic exercise are few.
- Individuals who have a fear of water may not be able to participate.
- Due to the buoyancy of the water, water exercise does not have the positive effect on bone density conveyed by weight-bearing exercise; however, recent studies have shown that exercising in shallow water can maintain and even increase bone density.
Any person who does not know how to swim should always swim in a facility that provides lifeguards.