Is it difficult for you to workout sometimes? Do typical weight-bearing exercises cause you pain? Or, do you want to switch-up your workout routine to add a fun, new challenge instead?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re a great candidate to try water-based exercises!

Water-based exercises (WBE) are more than a novelty. In fact, recent research proves WBE can actually have positive effects on bone mineral density similar to land-based exercises (LBE).

A March 2017 meta-analysis in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine showed promising results for WBE. This meta-analysis looked at 11 separate studies on WBE versus either LBE or no activity.¹

In total, 629 postmenopausal women participated in the 11 studies. Several of the studies showed positive results for WBE when it came to bone density. In fact, researchers found WBE may indeed reduce age-related bone loss in a “statistically significant” way.

That said, the study stressed that LBE are still superior to WBE when it comes to healthy bones. So if you’re physically able, I’d still recommend doing your exercises on land rather than water. If you do struggle to do LBE however, a healthy dose of WBE is still far better than no exercise at all!

In summary, this study proves that for those of us who have difficulties with LBE, WBE can be a great alternative while still improving bone health.

Now, joining a WBE class at your local community center or pool is the best way to enjoy these helpful exercises.

But if you want to go it alone or just get a peek at some WBE first, below are a few featured exercises you can try the next time you find yourself in water. For each of the following exercises, try 10 reps of each, repeated twice, for a total of 20 repetitions. If an exercise calls for both sides of your body, ensure each side still gets 20 repetitions in total.

1. Pool walk. Ensure you’re in chest-deep water. Simply alternate between walking forward and backward. You can add light weights as well to increase the resistance and therefore the benefits for your bones.

2. Leg raises. Hold on to the edge of the pool with one hand. Lift and stretch out one leg right out in front of you, while you stand firmly on the other leg, which is slightly bent. Alternate between legs. You’ll stretch and strengthen muscles in your leg, hip and lower back.

3. Wall-facing leg stretch. Float on the top of the water with your stomach down. Put your hands against the side of the pool, with your body and legs outstretched behind you. This position extends your back and joints, along with your shoulder muscles.

4. Knee-to-chest reps. Hold on to the edge of the pool with one hand. Stretch out one of your legs in front of you, keeping the other firmly planted on the bottom of the pool with a soft bend in the knee of your supporting leg. Bring your outstretched leg back towards you until your knee nearly touches your chest -- do not bend forward or change your posture to do this. This movement also strengthens and stretches the muscles in the leg, hip, and lower back.

5. Extended arm swivels. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and rest your arms on the surface of the water. Then gently turn your body to the right, swinging your left arm in front of you and your right arm behind you. Keep your elbows straight and in the water throughout. Repeat in the other direction.

So, what do you think? Would you be willing to try WBE the next time you’re at a pool? Maybe you’ll even make a point to travel to your local community center or pool for that very purpose!



Author's Bio: 

Dean Neuls is AlgaeCal’s Co-Founder and CEO. He is a natural health author and student of bone health science who is passionate about helping people and bettering lives. As the discoverer of plant calcium and sponsor of calcium clinical research, he is uniquely qualified in this field.

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