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Staying fit is tough, especially when you are nursing an injury or struggling with joint pain. Low impact exercises, like biking or swimming, reduce impact on joints & ease the body through a workout. When considering the alternatives among low impact exercise programs don't overlook the advantages of performing your entire workout in water. In a pool, your body feels lighter. This phenomenon is known as buoyancy. The water actually holds you up, creating a safe environment for people of all fitness levels to exercise. In between exercises, you can relax, letting the water support your weight and relax your muscles

In addition to providing a great low-impact exercise environment, working out in the pool can prove for more relaxing and refreshing than a regular, sweaty workout session.

Exercising in the pool also allows you to beat the heat, as the temperature of the water will help keep your body temperature down. This means you can workout in comfort and avoid any health risks associated with overheating.

The other primary benefit of working out in water is resistance. Essentially, any movement through the water requires you to push water out of the way. The water "pushes back," in a sense, adding resistance to each of your movements. This resistance is exactly the same a lifting weight and helps strengthen muscles, ligaments, and bones.

Although exercising in the water doesn't necessarily require any equipment, a number of products have become accessable for working out in water in recent years. These products add to the effectiveness of the workout by adding support and resistance while you exercise.

Support belts are available to provide a little extra flotation (taking additional weight off of you knees and ankles). In addition, these belts provide lumbar support for your back and give you additional vertical balance.

A product that adds extra resistance to a water workout routine are water dumbbells. These function much like regular dumbbells, allowing you to perform all kinds of exercises with a little extra resistance.

Water dumbbells come in several varieties. The first are simply plastic coated versions of the dumbbells you are already familiar with. The dumbbells can be submerged in water and simply add weight as you perform your exercises. Another variety of water dumbbell floats in the pool, they are typically covered in EVA foam which is soft, non-abrasive, and won't irritate your skin of catch on your clothes. The handles are padded for extra comfort.

The floating variety of water dumbbells come in all shapes and sizes. Rounded dumbbells typically add resistance by increasing in size the larger the dumbbell, the more resistance you experience as you pull them across the surface of the water. An alternate method for increasing resistance is available in triangular dumbbells. By turning the dumbbell, the leading surface can be alternated between the tip of the triangle (for less resistance), and the flat face of the dumbbell (providing more resistance).

Barbells provide an alternative to the 1-handed dumbbells. These barbells are much like the one's you're used to seeing in the weight room and are used to add weight to exercises involving the back, shoulders, chest, and triceps (the back of the arm). They typically come in the EVA foam coated variety and float on the surface of the water.

A third type of dumbbell has paddle-wheel shaped fins on the end. A similar product is the "water fan." In addition to adding weight, these products have plastic fins on the end that spin as they move through the water. The paddle-wheel and the fan allow water to pass over or through them slowly, providing additional resistance to your exercises. Other products for adding weight to the workout include weights that strap onto the wrists and ankles, providing additional weight for aerobic workouts in the water.

If you're looking for an alternative to the hot, sweaty workouts available on land, consider exercising in the pool. Besides keeping you cool and comfortable, water workouts lower the impact on your joints and muscles, allowing you to exercise safely and lowering the risk of muscle strain and damage to your joints. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, consider obtaining water dumbbells. They add to the effectiveness of your exercises by increasing the resistance of your movements in the water.