Superhero movies continue to dominate the box office and one of the biggest blockbusters in the past year was Aquaman. Star Jason Momoa boasted a chiseled physique in the film, and while most action film protagonists tend to maintain impressive aesthetics on the big screen, his appearance was especially fitting given the nature of his fictional prowess and domain.

From flexible muscles to strong lungs, swimmers boast a peculiar style of physical fitness that can only be obtained from time in the water. There are numerous other benefits to this unique form of exercise, many of which were outlined in a recent article in San Diego Entertainer Magazine.

With a readership likely living on the Pacific Coast, this story is sure to strike accord with the audience’s lifestyle. Still, people nowadays can enjoy access to indoor or outdoor pools at their local gym, regardless of whether or not they live close to a natural body of water. Story author Bryan Kittman detailed the specific details behind the positive elements behind working out in the water, writing:

STRENGTHENS MUSCLE AND IMPROVES STAMINA

While traditional cardio is great for your heart, when combined with the natural resistance of water, it can be a powerful workout for your muscles. The force of water from all directions acts as a set of natural weights for all parts of your body, giving you a full-body workout simply by moving. Rather than focusing on a singular body part, each muscle group is getting an equal amount of conditioning.

LOW-IMPACT

Having arthritis or inflammation can be a serious barrier for getting into exercise, as it can be a painful experience. However, with aquatic exercise, you can get a great workout without having your joints take a pounding. Being in the water helps you relax stiff muscles, giving you the benefits of exercise without furthering any pain from inflammation.

IT CAN HELP REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE

Water aerobics can be effective in improving blood circulation. While doing a workout in the water, blood can easily return to your heart due to the force of the water on your body. Being in the water is also quite relaxing, allowing for more oxygen to pump through your muscles.

IT CAN IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY

One of the biggest restrictions when it comes to exercising on land is the force of gravity. But when you’re in water, these restrictions are limited, allowing for a full range of motion and the chance to exert muscles you wouldn’t otherwise be able to exert. Water aerobics has been found to be effective in helping patients with osteoarthritis improve flexibility in their knees and hips.

ENCOURAGES WEIGHT LOSS

The natural buoyancy when being in water allows you to exert yourself more so than what you’d be able to do on land. Doing so makes you expend greater amounts of energy, consequently resulting in burning more calories. A simple 30-minute workout in the pool can burn more than 200 calories, much more than what you’d get on a treadmill for the same amount of effort.

There are plenty of ways to burn calories while having fun and avoiding injury, but it is hard to beat the feeling of being surrounded and refreshed by water.

To read Kittman’s full writeup, click here.