Exercising on dry land has many keep fit and weight loss benefits but exercising in water can also be considered as an alternative keep fit option with benefits that – for many – exceed exercising on dry land.
According to Harvard’s Health Publications, on average a person burns fewer calories when doing an aerobic workout in water compared to on dry land. However, when exercising in water you are working out against the resistance of the water, which results in a higher intensity workout and increased muscle strengthening and toning.
Studies have found that people who combine underwater treadmill running with regular treadmill running have reported to see leaner and more toned legs compared to those who solely use a regular treadmill.
The Texas A&M Research Laboratory has revealed that walking in water burns more calories than walking on dry land and thus, results in a greater increase in weight loss compared to when walking on dry land.
This finding further confirms the fact that the higher resistance found when exercising in water serves to create the extra effort needed on the body to work, thus increasing the amount of calories burned.
Furthermore, the low impact benefits of exercising in water cannot be ignored.
When carrying out certain types of exercise on dry land (for example, running and jumping jacks), the effects cause extra stress to the joints, increasing the risk of injuries to certain areas of the body. This risk is more likely to happen as one gets older.
Thus, exercising in water is a highly encouraged method of exercise for those who suffer from joint problems, as well as the elderly who wish to participate in regular activity that would otherwise cause problems for them when carried out on dry land.
Exercising in water eliminates stress to the joints and muscles due to the fact that when in water, body weight is reduced by approximately 90 percent, thereby providing less overall impact on the body, that is often associated with land based exercises.
(A little known fact is that marathon runners are approximately 1 centimeter shorter after a run, due to the compression on the vertebrae caused by the shortening of the body’s muscles from the excessive running.
If that fact isn’t reason enough for those with joint problems to change over to working out in water, I don’t know what is!)
Another comparison to be made between working out on dry land compared to working out in water is the effect on the heart rate.
Working out in the water leads to a lower increase in heart rate compared to when working out on dry land due to the cool water and resistance, therefore benefiting those with heart problems. Also, the cooling effect of the water further adds to the comforting effects of working out in water.
As you can see, there are several comparisons that can be made between working out on dry land and working out in water, and depending on one’s requirements, it is clear that both options have their own benefits and serve to improve the body’s strength, muscle tone and health.