Where are you going, land lubber? Tired of jogging on boring, old land? Well, there’s a new trend on the rise – and it could be fun and helpful for those of you who like to swim.
Aqua running is gaining popularity, and for good reasons. It’s a low-impact workout where you burn more calories. It can help with injury rehab, and you never have to worry about being sweaty. It can even replace a few weekly runs!
But is aqua running really all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s explore the various aspects of aqua running, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of both aqua running and running on land.
Two Types of Aqua Running
Before you start aqua running, you need to choose which type best suits you. There’s shallow water running and deep water running.
For shallow water running, you run across the bottom of the pool in waist-deep water or on a underwater treadmill or moveable floor if available. For deep water running, your feet don’t touch the bottom – you replicate a running motion in place. Don’t worry about which one is better; both forms work your body equally.
How to Aqua-Run
There’s not much to learn about aqua running, but make sure you follow these basic guidelines:
- Keep your body as vertical as you can in the water.
- Avoid leaning forward, but look straight ahead.
- Simulate running on land by pumping your arms and legs like pistons, with your fists clenched.
- You may use a flotation device to keep you afloat, but it’s not required.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Aqua Running
Aqua running may seem similar to land running, but according to an article published by Dr. Robert Wilder of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2000, it has a lower impact on the body.
Wilder also says that running in water burns about 11.5 calories in one minute, versus 8 calories in one minute for land running. How is this possible? Water has more resistance against the runner, and the runner must use more upper body strength than a land runner.
Aqua running is also beneficial because it gives runners a rest from hard surfaces. And with the absence of gravity, it’s perfect for treating gravity-specific running injuries like shin splits, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
Aqua running reaches its limits, however, when runners try to use it for race training. High-endurance runners have found that they can’t push their bodies as hard in water.
Other smaller drawbacks include the fact that you need an actual body of water to run in, and it can be monotonous if you don’t do it in groups or with friends.
How Does It Stack Up to Land Running?
When you run on land, you’re working your body harder. You can choose whether or not you want to push it for races or maintain a more casual workout. You also have freedom to go wherever you want, and the ability to track your mileage – two things you can’t do in a pool.
No matter where you choose to run, both styles will keep you happy, healthy and in shape. But don’t be hesitant to give aqua running a shot. You can’t be landlocked forever!