Do you like to play games? Are you an athlete? I imagine most of you reading this column have played a sport at some point in your life. Maybe years ago in high school, college or you still play today at some level. Sports can be a great outlet for built-up energy or stress release from the day’s work. Sports can also lead to a risk of injury and it doesn’t matter your age, young or old. It’s important to not only train the body to be prepared for the sport, but to also allow the body to recover after playing sports.

Exercising in water is becoming more and more popular with athletes to help them train for their sport and recover from their sport. Here’s a few benefits of water training, courtesy of IDEA Health & Fitness Association:

Minimize overuse injuries. Sports can put repetitive and intense stress on the body which can cause overuse injuries. In water training, depending on the depth, there can be up to 85% less impact on the body. This can help reduce the possibility of an injury.

Complement land training. Many exercises performed on land can also be performed in the water without the impact damage to the body. Vertical jump training can be performed in shallow water and long-distance run training can be performed in deep water. By the way, deep water running and treading is one of my favorite exercises. I try to make time in my busy fitness training schedule weekly to get in deep water for my body’s health and wellness.

Movement variety. When we exercise in water, there is resistance in multiple planes of movement. This adds new challenges to the exercise routine and makes it fun.

Improve muscle strength. Water exercise offers great aerobic training along with strength training at the same time. Typically, with land exercise, aerobic and strength training are performed separately.

Recovery opportunities. When immersed in water, hydrostatic pressure increases circulation, reduces swelling and enhances recovery.

Now that it’s summertime, take advantage of the water exercise opportunities all around us. Oceans, bays, rivers and pools are waiting for you. What are you waiting for?

Here’s to your good health.

Jonathan Souder is the Fitness Director at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, Delaware. This column appeared in the June 22, 2017 edition of the Seaford Star.