Exercising in a pool is one of the best things you can do to aid your mobility and boost your fitness.
“You can do things in the pool you simply can’t do on land. That’s especially true if you have balance difficulties or joint issues,” says Bruce E. Becker, MD, a clinical professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. The buoyancy of water allows greater range of motion, while its resistance enhances cardiac and muscle fitness.
But what’s the ideal temperature for a wet workout? Follow these guidelines for temperatures that work best for water exercise.
Below 83 Degrees
It might feel a bit brisk when you first get in, but if you’re doing rigorous aerobic activity, such as lap swimming, you’ll quickly appreciate the cool temperature.
This is the ideal temperature range for moderate aquatic exercise like pool fitness classes. “Your heart can operate very efficiently in this range,” notes Dr. Becker, making this suitable for those with a cardiac condition.
This is the upper range for moderately active aquatic exercise and is more appropriate for lower-intensity workouts.
Warm water temps like these can help you stretch more easily and improve range of motion. But beware of aerobic activity in this range – especially if you have any cardiac issues – because your heart is stressed more easily in a hotter environment. If you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure or other cardiovascular concerns, stick with cooler temperatures.
Exercising in this range can be dangerous, warns Dr. Becker. Stick to relaxing in it for just a few minutes – and make sure you drink cool water during and afterward. If you feel light-headed, drowsy or fatigued, get out of the water immediately.
Alyssa Shaffer for Arthritis Today
- Hit the Pool to Relieve Joint Pain
- Move More, Sleep Better
- Water Walking 101
- Warm Water Works Wonders on Pain