According to the Running USA State of the Sport Series the number of running event finishers as increased almost 400% since 1990. Aqua running is not a new concept but is gaining much popularity as more people become aware of its benefits and understand how it can help them accelerate their progress to reach their ultimate running goals. You can use it as a starting point or incorporate it into your training routine. All you really need to aqua run is a pool deep enough so your feet don’t touch the bottom and a flotation device that wraps around your middle that will keep your head above water. Here are 5 important benefits of aqua running that every runner, athlete, and fitness goer should know:
- Impact Free Workout – Gives you relief from running on the hard surfaces. You can train your cardiovascular system just as effectively as land based workouts. The similarity is striking, minus of course the impact on your joints!
- Cross Training– Unlike cycling, using an elliptical machine, or other cross training options, it is running-specific (in terms of the muscles used and your range of motion). Even once a week is a nice change of pace, particularly for your muscles and joints as a hiatus from impact based activities.
- Resistance Training – Provides resistance workouts while doing running specific movements (you run against resistance of the water). Any movement in the water creates resistance, which has a positive effect on cardiovascular fitness as well as muscle toning. The intensity in the amount of resistance you experience is determined by your speed in the water.
- Rehabilitation – Aqua-running is advocated as part of rehabilitation for injured runners. Every movement in the water serves as a mini massage to your muscles and joints. It’s excellent for shin splints, tendonitis, knee, fasciitis and many other lower leg ailments
- Recovery Workout – Good exercise during recovery periods such as post-marathons or long racing seasons. During your recovery period, you can use aqua running to maintain conditioning and fitness levels.
It is no secret that weightless water resistant workouts are a fun and safe way to get a serious workout mixed into your routine. More organizations are beginning to offer different aquatic based exercise opportunities. Make sure to ask your local gym what classes they have that can fit your regiment. Remember its all about having fun and feeling great!