January 13, 2022 10 min read

Aquatic fitness, a form of exercise performed in water, provides various health benefits, especially in preventing and managing various injuries and illnesses. By engaging in aquatic fitness, individuals can improve cardiovascular health, enhance muscle strength and flexibility, and even promote mental well-being due to the calming effects of water.

Moreover, aquatic fitness is not limited to any specific age group or fitness level, making it an inclusive and adaptable option for maintaining health. Regular participation in water-based exercises can lead to a healthier lifestyle, as it encourages physical activity, aids in weight management, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

There are so many instances in which life may seem to ‘get in the way’ of your fitness goals, whether it be time, money, or just pure lack of motivation. In the short term, putting exercise aside can seem like the most reasonable thing to do. However, this deprioritisation can have long-term consequences. In this article, we’ll go through what it means to be ‘healthy’ and how being proactive regarding your health can serve you well by preventing injury and even some illnesses.


In today's world, where health and wellness are hot topics in media, from sensational clickbait headlines to the latest social media trends, it takes time to discern authentic, helpful information.

Health is far more than just the absence of disease; it embodies a state of vitality that enhances our lives at every stage. This landscape often blurs the line between life span (how long we live) and health span (how well we live). Remarkably, we see individuals in their sixties running marathons and others of similar age who struggle to move around without pain, illustrating that age is not necessarily a barrier to achieving high levels of physical health if we work to preserve our health.

However, health is not just a physical concept; mental well-being plays a crucial role and is deeply interrelated with physical health. These aspects of well-being do not exist in isolation. Numerous factors contribute to good health, including proper nutrition, regular movement, adequate rest, nurturing healthy relationships, and maintaining a positive mindset.

This holistic view of health, recognising the intertwining of physical and mental aspects and the influence of lifestyle choices, is vital in navigating the overwhelming sea of information and trends in health and wellness. By focusing on a balanced approach that includes both mental and physical aspects, one can cultivate a state of health that enriches life beyond mere longevity.


Research now tells us that we’re not just preventing physical ailments but mental illness and cognitive decline as well. Despite this, three common reasons why individuals may struggle to put their health first through preventative lifestyle changes are time, money, and motivation. If you’re business-minded, you can think of your body like a small business. It needs to stay up and running efficiently with preventative measures to avoid costs later down the line.


Lack of time is one of the most common reasons for not exercising more. Life is busy, and putting off your health goals can be tempting. However, if you feel that you don’t have time for movement, you definitely won’t have time to be ill or not functioning at your best. The time it takes to recover from an injury or illness will inevitably negate your goal.  

Some of the busiest and most successful people in business, sports, and politics carve out time for daily movement. According to his 2004 campaign manager, former US President Barack Obama said, “The rest of my time will be more productive if you give me my workout time” when asked about his daily morning routine. Good health is a cornerstone to success whether you are a CEO, parent, or student.  

Most people know that exercise is good for them, but that knowledge alone does not ensure people commit to daily exercise. Humans are more complicated than that. It comes down to priorities, knowing what matters and why! It requires a mindset shift and taking small actionable steps toward lasting change.


  • Book workouts into your schedule, like a meeting or appointment; it should be non-negotiable and blocked off time.
  • Prioritise shorter, high-intensity workouts to get a challenging workout quickly.


When finances are tight, health and fitness often become the first cut in personal budgets, but this cost-saving approach overlooks the long-term financial impacts. Hospital visits and medications, for example, represent direct costs, while taking time off work can lead to indirect economic strains. This burdens individuals and their families and places a significant economic load on societies and healthcare systems. Investing in health, however, yields a high return on investment, making it a wise financial decision.

The stress associated with financial struggles is also closely linked to negative mental health outcomes, emphasising that financial wellness is an integral part of overall well-being. For small business owners or the self-employed, who are essentially their own business, maintaining personal health is crucial. The culture of praising relentless work, often leading to a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutritional choices, is not a sustainable business model for one's body. In the long run, neglecting health will likely incur greater costs, making the excuse of saving money by skipping exercise a short-sighted strategy.

If we’re lucky, ageing is an inevitable part of life that happens to all of us. We can’t prevent ageing, but we can prevent some of the side effects of ageing, which can involve physical and cognitive decline. The longer your health span, the longer you can work and provide for yourself financially without incurring large medical bills.


  • Create a 'wellness fund' or 'workout fund' within your personal or family budget. If it is already set aside each month, that’s one less decision each month (or whatever frequency you choose) that you must ruminate over.
  • Similarly to time, it comes down to priorities. When assessing your budget, think seriously and strategically about the things you can and cannot live without.


In a society that often seeks ‘quick fixes,’ the concept of prevention can be less motivating due to its subtler, long-term nature. We're accustomed to immediate transformations, but significant change requires time, consistency, and patience. Unlike interventions that offer visible results, prevention is a proactive approach focused on maintaining and enhancing health, rather than on observable physical outcomes.

This approach demands a mindset shift, where the value lies in doing what is best for one's health, even when the results aren't immediately apparent. Adapting to this perspective can be challenging in a culture favouring instant gratification, but it is crucial for long-term well-being.


  • Focus on your “why.” Do you want to be fit to travel the world once you retire? Do you want to stop taking daily medication?
  • Take note of other outcomes that aren’t the scale–focus on energy levels, how your clothes fit, skin, stress levels, etc.
  • Reward yourself and celebrate milestones. Maybe at your latest doctor’s appointment, your blood pressure had decreased, or you could keep up with your grandkids on a hike. Whatever the milestone is, it’s highly personal and usually relates back to your “why.”


Injury prevention is another thing that will save you headaches down the line. In other posts, we have extensively outlined the benefits of water fitness. Here is an overview of how water fitness can specifically prevent injury.


The low-impact yet high-intensity nature of all forms of water fitness, from circuits to aqua cycling classes to at-home pool workouts, can yield results while keeping pain at bay. All take advantage of the water’s resistance instead of relying on heavy weights or doing high-impact cardio on land.

The water’s buoyancy means it is a cushion for joints, reducing wear and tear without sacrificing a challenging and effective workout. Additionally, training focused on strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination helps reduce the likelihood of injuries in sports and even daily life activities.


Full-body strength, particularly in the trunk, lends itself to preventing injury. A greater range of motion also makes muscles more nimble and less likely to strain or tear. Both of these things facilitate balance and coordination, which reduces fall risk.

Furthermore, interventions that involve exercising in water have been shown to reduce fall risk in elderly participants by improving strength, functional mobility, balance, fall risk awareness, quality of life, and reducing pain perception.


Regular exercise is an excellent prevention strategy for preventing lifestyle diseases. Many people find aquatic fitness an approachable, unique, and fun way to get moving. This fact alone may encourage individuals to move more and maintain a good fitness level.

Exercise is so important that it impacts much more than just a person’s waistline. It can make an impact on chronic disease risks like arthritis, obesity, and heart disease. Many of the points below are interrelated, as there is definitely a crossover regarding health and lifestyle diseases. This means that if someone has high blood pressure, they are much more likely to have high blood lipids, elevated blood glucose, or overweight/obesity.

Immune System Support

Our bodies' immune system is incredibly complex. You would think we would have no control over how well it functions. However, regular exercise strengthens the immune system with both acute and chronic anti-inflammatory effects.

With a strong and defensive immune system, someone is less likely to have to take sick time off work and have more time to do the things they love. Also, stronger immunity means you bounce back quicker if you get sick. The above study also relays that habitual exercise improves immune regulation, delaying the onset of age-related immune system issues. 

Chronic Disease Prevention

Physical activity greatly reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers. Exercise's multiple physiological effects on the body include managing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels.

Mental Health and Stress Reduction

While we’ve long associated exercise with its physical health benefits, more people are always discovering the stress reduction and mental health benefits of physical activity. This link between regular physical activity and improved mental health is also documented in the research.

Exercise is a perfect tool for managing stress, anxiety, and depression. Habitual exercise can also help prevent these mental health ailments. The mechanisms behind this are still being explored. Still, the movement is undoubtedly connected to our body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps explain the role of endorphins and other “feel good” neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin) released during exercise.

Weight Management

Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and helping to prevent obesity, which is linked to various illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Achieving weight management effectively requires a balance between consistent physical activity and a nutritious diet, both essential for overall health and well-being.

Improved Sleep

Sleep, an often underrated aspect of health, is crucial for overall well-being, yet our society tends to undervalue it, mistakenly perceiving lack of sleep as a badge of honour. In reality, operating without sufficient sleep hinders our best performance. There is a significant relationship between regular exercise and improved sleep patterns.

Physical activity helps regulate the circadian rhythm, improving sleep quality and quantity. This is particularly important for those who engage in intense exercise, as sleep is the prime time for muscle recovery.

Furthermore, improved sleep is not just about rest; it plays a vital role in immune system function and illness prevention, highlighting the need to prioritise sleep as a key element of a healthy lifestyle.

Enhancing Respiratory and Cardiovascular Health

Regular cardiovascular exercise is pivotal in enhancing heart health and building endurance, significantly improving cardiovascular efficiency and lung capacity. Individuals can effectively prevent respiratory illnesses and heart-related conditions by engaging in consistent cardio activities.

Exercise strengthens the heart muscle, improves blood circulation, and increases the lungs' capacity to utilise oxygen, all contributing to a healthier cardiovascular system. Preventing diseases through cardio is a testament to the power of exercise in maintaining physical fitness and overall health and longevity.

Bone Health and Muscle Strength

Water exercise helps strengthen and tone muscle muscles without heavy strain on joints. By regularly engaging in activities that challenge the muscles and bones, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions, ensuring a stronger, healthier body well into later life.

Gut Health

The gut microbiome comprises trillions of microbiota that have a fascinating and important role in health and disease. Interestingly, exercise can cause positive changes in gut microbiota. This means that adequate exercise can lead to improved gut health, digestive health, and in turn, immune function.

Exercise for Specific Populations

An important attribute of water fitness is that it can be tailored to different age groups, abilities, and health conditions. Feasible exercise programs are even more important for managing illness among children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions.


Unfortunately, more than half of Australian adults do not meet the government’s set physical activity guidelines. Children and adolescents are also often not meeting these guidelines, increasing their likelihood of maintaining these poor habits into adulthood and developing chronic lifestyle conditions.

The recommendation for adults aged 18-64 is to do at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity and include at least two days of muscle-strengthening activities each week.

For children ages 5-17, it’s recommended that they participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day and do something that involves strength training at least three times a week.


Incorporating aquatic fitness into your routine, especially for beginners, can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Starting with aquatic cycling, a low-impact yet effective form of exercise, is a great way to get daily cardio in the pool. When creating a balanced aquatic fitness regimen, exploring various classes to find what suits you best, adding variety to your workouts is beneficial.

Safety measures and best practices are essential; always invest in proper gear to ensure comfort and efficiency. Additionally, having an accountability buddy can greatly enhance motivation and consistency.

Drawing inspiration from James Clear's "Atomic Habits," habit stacking is useful; pair your aquatic fitness routine with an activity you enjoy, like getting your favourite coffee afterwards, making it a more appealing part of your day. Water fitness may be a great option if you enjoy swimming, being with other people, or being outside. This approach helps form a sustainable habit, gradually making aquatic fitness an integral and enjoyable part of your lifestyle.


Good health is more than the absence of disease; it's about vitality that enhances life at every stage, integrating physical and mental well-being with a balanced lifestyle. Regular movement is essential, countering the negative effects of a sedentary life. Regular physical activity addresses various aspects of health like immune system support, chronic disease prevention, mental health, stress reduction, weight management, improved sleep, respiratory and cardiovascular health, muscle and bone strength, and gut health.

Time, money, and motivation constraints often limit exercise, but maintaining good health is vital, as neglecting fitness can lead to longer periods of illness and injury recovery–therefore incurring time costs, monetary costs, and losing the momentum behind motivation.

Aquatic fitness can be a sustainable, enjoyable part of a healthy lifestyle that offers substantial health benefits, excelling in injury prevention and managing illnesses. This regime leverages water's resistance and buoyancy, reducing joint and muscle strain while providing a holistic workout. Accessible to all ages and fitness levels, it boosts cardiovascular health, muscle strength, flexibility, and mental wellness, making it an inclusive method for enhancing lifestyle and decreasing chronic disease risks.

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