What Is Aqua Jogging?
By Nico Azul
, last updated December 2, 2011
The kinder alternative to pounding the pavement, aqua jogging lets you workout without wearing out your joints. Aqua jogging is essentially the water version of land based jogging, and it is a good option for anyone who cannot run or doesn't enjoy the dry land activity. Usually, you perform aqua jogging in the deep end of a pool, using flotation belts or other kinds of flotation aids to keep upright and afloat.
Underwater, the movements made by aqua joggers mimic those used by traditional runners. Your legs move up and down and your arms pump at your sides, elbows bent. Most aqua joggers keep their fists clenched, but you can also keep your palms open to increase the water you catch and displace. Water keeps you cool while you exercise and it protects you from jarring movements. As a result, you might be able to exercise longer in water than on land. An hour of water jogging is tiring, but an hour of jogging on land might be out of the reach for all but seasoned runners. In the water, you expend a lot of energy just to move past water's resistance against your body, but you might not perceive the effort as much as you do running on land.
Aqua jogging or water running is a form of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercises in general involve movement, and water jogging involves your entire body. You actually use your upper body more in water jogging than you do running on dry land because the water makes you work harder to move your arms against its resistance. Although water jogging is a low impact form of exercise it does help you build your strength along with your cardiovascular fitness.
Working out in the water benefits anybody who is overweight or for whom running is not an option. It also allows people that have limited mobility to engage in cardiovascular exercise. Osteoarthritis causes painful inflammation and swelling of the joints. Aqua jogging gives you the option to work out without stressing your joints. You can also work out with a low risk of injury and relatively low level of pain during and after workouts.
Water jogging is also a good exercise for anyone who is recuperating from surgery or injury. Because the movements used in water jogging mimic those used in traditional running, some elite runners use water jogging to keep up their cardiovascular fitness levels and use it as a supplement to other forms of training.
Because of the increasing popularity of water jogging, some aquatics facilities dedicate separate lap lanes to the activity. Others offer classes that include both water aerobics exercises and water jogging. Whether you are a seasoned jogger using a flotation belt makes your workouts safer. You can hold foam dumbbells or wear specially fashioned footgear that increases how hard you must work to overcome water's resistance to your movements. If you are working out by yourself, a waterproof MP3 player with headphones can help you avoid boredom during long and sometimes monotonous solo workouts.