Fit Tip: Hit the Pool
Water workouts are easy on the joints and beneficial to the entire body and mind. While the buoyancy of water can make you feel light and relaxed, don’t let the calm water fool you. Pool moves can blast calories, increase heart rate and boost muscle strength. Add a pool workout to your routine with these tips:
Try an aerobics class. Many fitness facilities now have aqua classes in their group fitness schedule. Circuit classes and boot camps are offered in the pool using tools like Styrofoam dumbbells, noodles, resistance tubing and medicine balls. (Yes, medicine balls float in water.) Your gym may even have the latest fitness craze, Aqua Zumba, an in-water dance party that offers a more intense, full body workout.
Getting started. If you are going to create your own workout, hit your local gym pool or community pool and stand in chest deep water. Get your body warm with easy jogging, then create your own cardio drills alternating with strength exercises.
- Cardio drills: Try jogging from one side of the pool to the other in shallow water or tread water in the deep end. Calisthenics like jumping jacks and jump squats will be much easier on your body in the water, but will still increase your heart rate.
- Strength exercises: If you have a resistance band or any other floatable tools, preform the same exercises in the water that you do on land. The tempo may be slower due to the viscosity of the water.
Swim Laps. If you are looking for a break from impact cardio exercise like running and jumping, then add a day or two of swimming laps to your routine. Swimming is a great cardio workout that will increase your heart rate while yielding no stress to the joints and bones.
Still need some convincing to hit the pool? The Center for Disease Control says adults should get 150 minutes of heart pumping exercise every week and studies show people can exercise longer in the water than on land, without increased effort or joint or muscle pain.