by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
Cool and refreshing, put summer’s natural fitness tool to work for you …
Water provides a fun, refreshing, natural way to cool off during the summer heat. It also multitasks as a gentle but powerful fitness tool. Whether you walk, swim, tread, or splash, submerged in water you instantly increase the caloric burn.
- Treading water vigorously burns about 11 calories per minute. This is equivalent to a six-mile-per-hour run. (Which would you rather do when temps are high?)
- Water provides continuous resistance, which engages more muscles through a larger range-of-motion. (Blast fat from multiple angles simultaneously for an efficient workout.) The results include reduction of waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratios.
- The Aquatic Exercise Association indicates up to 500 calories can be zapped in a one-hour water aerobics routine. Sessions should include running, jumping, and stretching with weights or a belt.
- Cardiovascular fitness is one of the biggest gains during water workouts.
- Water workouts eliminate physical stress often placed on joints and bones during other forms of resistance training. Those with health conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis enjoy the benefits of strength training without exacerbating issues with bones and joints.
- By supporting the entire skeletal system, water helps relieve soreness and get back in action after injury rehabilitation.
- Water is for the shy. Banish worries that make you feel self-conscious. Water workouts are for all ages, shapes, and sizes. Once you’re submerged, the water provides a level of privacy, forgiving everything from a chipped pedicure to the dimples you have on your thighs. And, ocean dwellers are too focused on the next big wave.
Water workouts can be as intense or casual as you wish. (Go ahead, squeeze in a light one while chatting at the pool’s edge.) Every movement is greeted by the water’s gentle but firm resistance, which allows muscles to be strengthened continuously. Running and jumping in the water can be as effective as swimming to improve heart and lung health. Throw a ball around, create a whirl pool, make a conga line.
If you never learned to swim, there is no better time. The Center’s Aquatic program builds newcomers’ confidence in a safe swim environment with certified, professional instructors. Lessons are available for all ages, at your convenience. Advanced swimmers can learn how to perfect their stroke and increase the fitness power of their laps.
Consider taking a Group Fitness aquatic class or training sessions in the pool. Learn how to enhance the water’s fitness power by incorporating water weights, noodles, and belts. Your maximum heart rate is quickly reached, especially when submerged up to shoulder level.
Amp up the standards by executing them in the pool or waves. Basic kicks work your buttocks, hamstrings, and abs. Pull-ups tackle the arms, back, and shoulders. Stretches done on land can be mimicked as well. These exercises can be executed anytime water is available. Even the kiddie pool is a source for crunches and kicks on a 90-degree day. All water is game for these workouts!
Remember to warm up and cool down. This helps you safely shift your heart rate and body temperature. If there is a significant difference between air and water temps, spend a little extra time in these phases.
“Slim Down in a Splash: Pool Workout,” by Lara McGlashan at fitnessmagazine.com.
Person splash: pixabay.com/en/male-person-man-boy-playing-731888/
Water workout: flickr.com/photos/24975064@N05/4840948510/