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The Superior Benefits of Water-Based Workouts

The Superior Benefits of Water-Based Workouts

Exercise for many people is about the most obvious components, whether it's hitting the gym or the trail, the notion of keeping fit tends to involve the things we can access easily, and it's easy to see why these are more popular. But we also have to think about those people who are venturing further in the quest for enhanced wellness. This is why people like paddle boarders or surfers look fit and healthy but also have an incredibly relaxed attitude to life. Water-based exercises provide an abundance of benefits, both physically and mentally. What are these?

Enhanced Balance and Coordination

The proprioceptive nature of exercise, where we perceive the movement, action, or location of the body, is a key part of our ability to understand our body better. Often, many people go to the gym and think that as long as they lift a certain weight, this is what is needed to provide a stimulus. While this is true in theory, doing it with the wrong form or posture can result in injuries. 

This is why it's so important at the very outset of our exercise journey that we focus on form and develop the ability to understand how our body can and cannot move and gradually increase our flexibility, balance, and coordination. This is why something like paddle boarding or surfing is an invaluable skill because of the sheer volume of falling people do at the very outset because they're not able to get up onto the board. There are ways to increase our abilities here, especially on paddle boards with paddle board anchors and other exercises to help us understand our balance, but it is something that we gradually develop over time. 

If you have a better ability to balance, this will see you through in so many areas of your life, especially as you get older, where falls become the most common form of injury and is one of the major contributing factors towards death in old age. If we fall and we can physically get back up because of greater balance, we will benefit.

A Low-Impact Workout

When we compare water-based exercises to land-based ones, exercising in water minimizes the stress on the joints and muscles, making it an ideal environment for people with joint injuries or arthritis. Because water exercise provides a double-duty workout of cardio and strength training due to the resistance of the water, this works more muscles compared to land-based exercises. 

Water's buoyancy makes it gentler on the joints, and this means that we can progress far better in certain planes of movements that can be more painful on land. A very common example is running because if we continue to pound the sidewalk, we can run the risk of causing more damage to our joints and wearing the cartilage away. This is why many people progress to swimming later in life because it can still provide all those challenges to stimulate strength and cardiovascular health, but is an amazing way to improve physical conditioning.

Improving Range of Motion

When we undertake an effective strength training regime that pushes us beyond our comfortable range of motion, this is where injuries can occur. Aquatic exercises are more effective because they can maintain or increase the range of joint movement, and this can mean a switching-on of muscles that have not been used for a long time or strengthening weaker muscle cells while also improving balance and coordination. 

Because swimming is one of those incredibly effective tools that gives us an immediate understanding of our range of motion because of the mechanics necessary for a front crawl, we slowly learn to recline the ties and develop our range of motion gradually, meaning that we will greatly benefit the more we do this.

The Mental Health Benefits

Tools such as hydrotherapy have long been used as an amazing way to increase well-being because water can help provide a therapeutic environment to address physical or even mental pain. The mental health benefits of surfing are numerous; it can help people have respite from the day-to-day stresses of their lives, increase their social connection, improve their accomplishments, and can reduce symptoms of depression. There's a reason why surfing is so addictive for so many because it gives them that escape from day-to-day drudgery.

As with any type of exercise, it's so important to allow yourself time to recover and progress gradually, which is why something like swimming or surfing can be an immediately challenging practice on the mind and body, but give it time and you will experience the superior benefits.

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