Running in place in a swimming pool, also called aqua jogging or water running, is a relatively safe, zero-gravity cardiovascular exercise that is easy on the joints. There are different ways to aqua jog -- in deep water or in water where you can stand. Both forms require the same basic set of movements, although there are slight differences to be aware of before you begin.
Try to keep a natural running gait when aqua jogging. Knees should be high, back straight, arms snug alongside your hips and the abdominal muscles engaged -- similar to running up a hill. Your entire body should be vertical, and all muscles should be contributing to a series of fluid movements. You can jog in place or back and forth in lap lanes. Sessions last for at least 15 minutes. The movement might feel awkward at first, so begin with short sessions and increase your workout duration as you get more comfortable.
Heart Rate and Caloric Burn
Running in place in a swimming pool burns calories if you keep your heart rate up. With your heart rate maintained at a minimum of 135 beats per minute, aqua jogging has a caloric burn rate of about 470 calories per hour for the average 130-pound person.
Aqua Jogging Gear
Aqua jogging is typically done in deep water -- water too deep to stand in. This necessitates use of a flotation belt that fits around your waist and suspends you in the water, keeping the upper portion of your body above water. Running in waist-deep water removes about half your body weight, while running in chest deep water reduces your weight by about 90 percent -- less impact, especially for injured limbs. Aqua shoes are also helpful. They have strategically placed vents and fins and add resistance, which helps leg movements to be more fluid.
Shallow Water Jogging
Jogging in shallow water can provide therapeutic and transitional training from the water to running on land. Jog in water that is shoulder height for the first two weeks of training. Then jog in water that is chest height for two weeks, and finally aqua jog in water that is hip height for two weeks. Doing so will gradually allow you to gradually adjust to an increased load or body weight.