Water is 784 times denser than air, which means that every kick and slide is a full-body workout. Your core, hips, glutes and arms feel it the most. The benefits of aquatic exercises in general are numerous – greater calories burned, low-impact cardio training and not feeling sweaty.
Gym-goers often want results as fast as possible and some workouts will provide them, but they come with greater risk for physical injuries and physiological burnout. Shorter and more intense routines have been a trend for several years now. Water sports fit perfectly into that category, with the additional component of having lots of fun.
Water sports are one of the best parts of summer and even if you might not realize it at the time, these activities are putting you through a killer workout. Some definitely top the average 30- to 60-minute sweat session on dry land. The resistance of the water is building strength—often more efficiently than lifting weights in the gym.
Some activities, such as stand-up paddle boarding, don’t look hard because you don’t see the people on the boards panting and trying to catch their breath. But make no mistake, they are getting in shape. Water polo, wakeboarding and rafting have similar benefits, even though they are not so obvious.