The answer depends on your age and the type of water exercise you're doing. Small children and older people typically prefer pool temperatures to be a little warmer. Swimmers training for competitions may need cooler water, so they won't overheat.
In general, pool temperatures between 83 F (28.3 C) and 88 F (31.1 C) are usually comfortable for most types of water exercise. Pools that are used for physical therapy typically have warmer water to help relax muscles and make stretching exercises easier.
Water exercise is a good choice for people who have arthritis because the buoyancy of the water helps protect joints from weight-bearing impacts.
July 28, 2015
- Air and water temperature guidelines. USA Swimming. http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=1755&Alias=rainbow&Lang=en&mid=7713&ItemId=3548. Accessed July 8, 2015.
- Michlovitz SL, et al. Hydrotherapy: The use of water as a therapeutic agent. In: Modalities for Therapeutic Intervention. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: F.A. Davis Co.; 2012:109.
- Fisken AL, et al. Comparative effects of 2 aqua exercise programs on physical function, balance, and perceived quality of life in older adults with osteoarthritis. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. 2015;38:17.