As a swimmer, I know I am always looking for something new to add to my workout and training routine as I hate to say it but pool training can be a bit samey at times. Water running is a brilliant cardiovascular exercise which can be used for all kinds of swimmers – whether you are not quite strong enough to swim enough laps to get in shape, or are an injured runner who needs to keep fit without the impact.
So what is Water Running? It literally does what it says on the tin – you run in the water. It uses all the same muscles as when you run on land however your joints don’t have to withstand the impact as you aren’t actually running on to anything. This means that all those joint and other impact related injuries runners commonly get, you don’t get from water running.
Being a form of a cardio workout, it’s designed to be done for long periods of time to get the results so is great for those who are wanting to ditch any extra pounds this season or for those who suffer with heart related conditions and are building up their strength again.
With Water Running (A.K.A. Aqua Jogging) you can easily vary the intensity of the workout by starting at a slow, gentle stride to almost sprinting through the water. You have the choice whether you want to do short bursts of sprints in the water or a long continuous jog. The length of your relaxed pace jog will lengthen the more you practise so you will see yourself improve over time.
The other brilliant thing about aqua jogging is that you don’t need much in the way of equipment to get you started – swimwear, a towel and a water bottle to stay hydrated.
Top tips for Aqua Joggers
* Do as you would with running, so get yourself a waterproof case and waterproof headphones to wear with you through the water and stay motivated.
* Vary the intensity of your training so you don’t get bored and also maximise your workout.
* Exercising in an outdoor swimming pool? Make sure you put your sunscreen on first and pop on a hat to keep the sun off your face.
* If you start finding that your strength and endurance has improved then why not add an aqua belt around your waist to make things a little tougher. It also ensures you get the right posture in the water and so are in the correct position causing no unwanted strains.
* Don’t paddle with your hands keep your hands loosely clenched to let your legs move your forward through the water. Make sure you are swinging your arms as you would when you run on dry land. It gets a great momentum in the water and also adds some upper body exercises in for an even better workout.
Enjoy Water Jogging? Then why not give the next aqua aerobics class a go at your local swimming pool? This is a great chance for some more cardio exercises but doesn’t just involve running, it involves all kinds of stretches and can be more social too.