Aquatic Fitness 101: Everything You Need to Know About Spa Exercise


Warm weather is right around the corner, which means you’ll have plenty of time to spend outside in your hot tub or swim spa. While sitting in the hot tub with a margarita in-hand is good fun, it doesn’t have quite the same health benefits as exercising in the water.

There are plenty of reasons why people choose to incorporate aquatic fitness into your healthy lifestyle and physical activity routine, including the following!

Aquatic Fitness Benefits

It Keeps You Cool

Exercising outside, especially in the summer, can cause heat exhaustion, causing you to end the workout early. But if the water in your swim spa is cool, your body temperature will be regulated so that you don’t overheat. If the water is warm, it may not hold the ability to cool you down but it will increase your blood circulation.

Low-Impact Approach

Running on pavement or on the treadmill can wreak havoc on your joints, especially if you have pre-existing back or knee issues. The buoyancy from the water lifts weight and removes pressure from your muscles and joints.

Improve Your Strength

Water has built in resistance, which can be helpful if you’re trying to achieve some muscle tone or definition and get stronger.

Increase Your Endurance

Exercising in water doesn’t have to mean swimming laps. Performing various aerobic and strength training exercises in your hot tub or swim spa can help you improve your cardiovascular endurance.

Enjoy a Change of Pace

Visiting the gym three times a week for the same workout routine can get boring. Adding some water-based exercise to your schedule will freshen things up a bit and keep you motivated.

Better Scenery

If your swim spa or hot tub is outside, chances are that your surrounding scenery is much nicer than what you would see at the nearby gym. Plus, spending time outdoors is great for your mental health so exercising in a swim spa or hot tub outside is a win-win.

For further information on the health benefits of aquatic fitness, visit our blog and online resource center. At Paradise Valley Spas, our goal is to help every customer find the swim spa or hot tub of their dreams.

Before embarking on your exciting aquatic fitness journey, there are a few more important things to understand and consider.

Setting SMART Goals

Just like when you were in school or starting out in your career, setting specific goals will help keep you on track and measure your successes. SMART goals are created by using a detailed set of criteria to make sure that your goals are attainable.

SMART stands for:


Really think about your goal and make sure it’s clear. If you’re wanting to lose weight, set a certain goal weight that you will work toward.


Try to pick a goal that can be measured as this will keep you track your progress.


Completing a triathlon is a wonderful end goal but doing so in the next three months might be a bit of a stretch. Setting an unattainable goal will only set you up for disappointment.


Make sure the goal you select is realistic and means something to you.


Setting a deadline to achieve your goal is essential as this will increase your motivation.

The first step toward achieving your aquatic fitness and relaxation goals is to find a hot tub or swim spa that will accommodate your new exercise regimen. At Paradise Valley Spas, we carry several sought-after and luxury hot tub brands like Bullfrog® Spas, Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs, Nordic Hot Tubs™, and Sundance® Spas. If you’re seeking a swim spa, we offer the entire collection of Hydropool Swim Spas.

Our experts at Paradise Valley Spas can assist you in finding the perfect swim spa or hot tub for your lifestyle, helping you achieve your wellness goals through aquatic fitness and relaxation.

The Benefits of Water-Based Exercise in a Hot Tub

When people think of hot tubs, they often don’t associate the idea with aquatic fitness and exercise. But in reality, hot tubs can be used for both creating muscles and then soothing them after. While stretching in the hot tub is a great idea to relax and unwind, there are numerous exercises that people can do to improve their cardio and strength.

  • Core exercise #1: Start in a sitting position and extend both arms out beside you to grip onto the walls as you face toward the centre of the hot tub. From there, engage your core muscles, float your legs up from the hot tub floor, bring your knees into the chest, and then shoot them forward again. For maximum results, do three sets of 12 with a short break in between each set.
  • Core exercise #2: Also in a seating position facing toward the centre of the hot tub, brace yourself by holding onto the sides and float your legs up again. Instead of bringing them to and from your chest, flutter kick in the centre. This exercise works your core while also toning your legs by going against the resistance of the water.
  • Squats: These are much more pleasant to do in the hot tub rather than on land. Simply start in the standing position facing the centre of the hot tub and slowly lower yourself down to sit on the seat. For maximum results, do three sets of 12 with a short break in between each set.
  • Calf raises: Get toned calves right in time for summer by adding some calf raises into your hot tub exercise routine. Stand flat-footed in the centre of the hot tub and raise yourself onto your toes and then return back to your normal standing position. Repeat this exercise until you start to feel a slight burn or tiredness in your calves.
  • Torso twists: For this exercise, stand in the centre of your hot tub. Slowly twist your upper torso as far to the left as you can and hold this for 15 seconds. Once the time is up, slowly twist to the right and repeat this until your muscles feel stretched and relaxed. This is a great exercise for people with regular gastrointestinal discomfort or issues as it provides your insides with a slight massage.
  • Shoulder rolls to wind down: End your workout with some relaxing shoulder rolls in a seated position. Roll them forward at the same time and then switch positions, rolling them backwards.

Just like during any workout, on land or in a hot tub, be sure to have a water bottle nearby so that you remain hydrated while exercising.

The Benefits of Aquatic Fitness in a Swim Spa

Because swim spas are longer in length, there’s an abundance of exercises that will provide you with a full-body workout while improving your cardio. If you’re looking to add aquatic fitness to your workout routine, your swim spa may help!

  • Split lunges: stand straight with your feet together in the centre of your swim spa, facing lengthwise. Jump into the lunge position with one leg forward and one back, then jump back and change legs. This is great cardiovascular activity while also toning your legs and bum.
  • Swimming: Depending on the swim spa that you own, you may be able to increase the jet strength, which will increase the resistance. Swim toward the resistance and let it keep you centered in the pool. Swimming is an activity that is often recommended for people who are trying to lose weight.
  • Arm and chest exercises with foam dumbbells: If you’re wanting sculpted arms and a chiseled chest, consider purchasing a pair of foam pool-use dumbbells. These can be found at sports equipment stores or ordered online. Once you have acquired a set of dumbbells, you can perform any of the exercises that you would do with a set of weights on-land. For example, stand in the centre of your swim spa with your arms extended beside you at shoulder length. Push your arms down towards your hips and then let them float back up to starting position. This exercise will tone your shoulders. You can also do hammer curls for your biceps or fly extensions for your triceps.
  • Jogging or on-the-spot walking: Walking or jogging around the centre area of your swim spa is a great way to get your heart rate up at the beginning of a workout. Begin at a walking pace and then start jogging once you feel like you’re starting to warm up.
  • Jumping jacks: The water within your swim spa absorbs some of the impact when performing jumping jacks, which make these non-jarring and easy on your joints. Simply start in a standing position in the centre of your swim spa and then jump so that your arms and legs are pointed outwards from your body, making an “X” shape. Return all of your limbs to the centre and repeat.

Tips to Help You Achieve Your Wellness Goals

Before starting your new aquatic fitness regimen, be sure to speak with your doctor to ensure that it’s safe to do so. It is also important to thoroughly research the exercises that you’ll be practicing in your swim spa or hot tub to prevent injury. We have compiled a few more healthy tips and tricks that will push you in the right direction when it comes to achieving your goals.

Stay Hydrated

Experts suggest that the average adult drinks about two liters (eight glasses) of water per day. Instead of reaching for a sugar-filled fruit juice before hopping in your swim spa, opt for a cold glass of water—your body will thank you. By drinking water, your body will better regulate its temperature while exercising and your joints will be aptly lubricated.

Prioritize Rest

It’s easy to get wrapped up in a new fitness routine but incorporating rest days is essential for your physical health—your muscles need the time to recover. Try taking a rest day every two to three days that you exercise. Jump in your swim spa, without the foam dumbbells, sit back, and relax.

Your hot tub or swim spa can also provide you with the perfect place to rest and heal following a workout.

Get a Good Sleep

Without sleep, your body would not be able to function properly as it requires the down time to recharge. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, prioritize going to bed at the same time each night and turn off your devices at least one hour before going to bed. Additionally, only use your bedroom for sleeping—eating, working, and relaxing should be done elsewhere. This can help train your body into feeling tired upon entering the room. If you’re really having difficult sleeping, be mindful of when you drink coffee or alcohol throughout the day and how much you’re consuming.

Follow a Balanced Diet

Get the most out of your new water-based exercise program by combining it with a healthy diet. Replace any sugar-filled foods or processed carbohydrates with fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. While the diet changes might feel abrupt at first, sugar and carb cravings will dissipate the less that you eat them. If you’re unsure of how many calories you should be consuming per day, especially while being active in your hot tub or swim spa, ask your doctor.

Depending on your activity level and weight goals, your doctor can provide you with valuable insight on what and how much to eat. Foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, apples, brown rice, fatty fish, and eggs, will provide you with ample energy so that you can crush your hot tub or swim spa workout.

Contact Paradise Valley Spas for More Information

Our knowledgeable team at Paradise Valley Spas is always here to help. We have a fully-loaded owner resources section on our website. We are more than happy to help you browse our selection of hot tubs for sale and then brainstorm unique ideas to incorporate it within your backyard living space. Better yet, we’ll work with you and your budget, to ensure that this investment is extremely worthwhile and comfortable. 


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