Slide show: Aquatic exercises – Mayo Clinic

Aquatic exercise is a low-impact activity that takes the pressure off your bones, joints and muscles. Water also offers natural resistance, which can help strengthen your muscles.

Aquatic exercise can also have several health benefits, such as improved heart health, reduced stress, and improved muscular endurance and strength. Exercising in the water can be a great way to include physical activity into your life. It may also be a beneficial way for older adults to stay active. You can even do aquatic exercise if you don’t know how to swim. Aquatic exercise can also improve joint use and lessen pain if you have osteoarthritis.

You might start with water walking. In water that’s about waist-high, walk across the pool swinging your arms as you do when walking on land. Avoid walking on your tiptoes, and keep your back straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles to avoid leaning too far forward or to the side.

To increase resistance as your hands and arms move through the water, wear hand webs or other resistance devices. Water shoes can help you maintain traction on the bottom of the pool.