Deep Water Running

By Lou Spargo

Summer is here, so why not make the most of the warmer weather and take to the pool?  I’ve literally jumped in the deep end for my first Oh My Goodness story to give you the lowdown on deep water running.

If you think deep water running is easy, or for old people – you ought to think again.  Did you know that water is 17 times denser than air?  This makes deep water running a challenging workout for even the fittest of athletes.

If you have an aversion to wet hair you needn’t worry – a special buoyancy belt keeps you afloat, meaning your feet won’t even come close to touching the bottom of the pool.

Beneath the deceivingly calm water surface, all major muscle groups get firing as you simulate a running motion, as you would on land.  You can expect to burn around 500 to 600 calories per session, minus the impact pounding the pavement has on your body.

DEep Water running Lou in action

Photo by James O’Sullivan

Yvonne Flanders, water running enthusiast and instructor at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) says deep water running is a wonderful low impact workout, highly effective for muscle tone and core strength:

In water, the body is weightless and there is no impact on the joints, making deep water running particularly beneficial for people who are overweight, recovering from injury, or anyone with hip or knee problems.  It’s a workout in which anyone can participate and work at their own level.

If you’ve never tried deep water running, dip your toe in the water this summer and give it a whirl. Even the most seasoned runners may be pleasantly surprised by the benefits of this low impact alternative to running laps of the Tan.

Yvonne’s deep water running tips:
  • Take short, quick strides in the water
  • Remain as upright as possible – a 10 degree angle is ideal for optimum exertion
  • Style should mimic land running – imagine hitting the ground with a flat foot
  • Don’t try and paddle or swim
  • Keep your fists closed, your legs move you forward in the water.

Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
30 Aughtie Drive, Albert Park


Zara is a healthy home coach and keynote speaker on a mission to empower 1 million people to takes steps towards a healthier home. Zara learned about the link between our homes and our health after going through two different types of cancer. Zara is passionate about shining the spotlight on what she believes to be the least understood health challenges of our time, and sharing the things she wishes she had known, that could have prevented the illnesses she has been through. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading health influencers, Zara was a finalist in the 2014 Bupa Health Influencer of the Year Awards. She has appeared on TEN News, Today Show and The Project, been featured in the Herald Sun, I Quit Sugar, and contributed Medibank’s Be. Magazine and Fairfax health online publications. Zara contributed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s first comprehensive report on breast cancer in young women in Australia.

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