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Thursday, May 15, 2014
10 Top Reasons Why You Should Exercise In Water
 
by Mark Grevelding 


Aquatic fitness has come out of the shadows and is drawing fans of all shapes, sizes and ages.  Men, women and children are diving in and discovering fluid fun and cool challenges as they splash their way to a fitter body.  Check out your local pool schedule and you may find aquatic kickboxing, cycling, boot camp, jogging, walking, Pilates, yoga and much more!
Here are ten reasons to get wet!

#10 – Follow the trend.  The boomers are aging and so are their hips and knees.  Watch out because new pool construction is going gang busters and will continue to do so over the next 15 years.  Due to the fact that aquatic fitness is soaring in popularity, most locations are building more than one pool.  A cooler pool is built for lap swimming and aggressive aquatic fitness programs, while a warmer pool meets the needs of senior programming, rehabilitation and mind/body classes.   New and exciting programming will continue to crop up as innovative aquatic equipment and technology develops due to increased demand!

#9 – Provides excellent cross training.  If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got!  Eventually your body will plateau on an exercise program if you do not introduce variation, or worse you could make yourself vulnerable to overuse injuries. Water offers the perfect solution to cross training.  Do you like to jog?  Try deep water jogging or lap swimming.  Do you like to strength train with weights?  Try an aquatic class that uses equipment or webbed gloves. Your body will thank you for introducing aquatic fitness into your exercise routine and that frustrating plateau will surely wash away!

#8 -   Sleep better.  One of the first things a new aqua fitness participant notices is the incredible night of sleep that awaits them after a vigorous training session in water.  Exercise in general has been proven to improve sleep patterns.  However, aquatic exercise does even better due to the specific properties of the aquatic environment and their impact on the systems of the human body.  Improved blood flow, changes in body temperature and enhanced muscle conditioning all contribute to an absolutely delightful slumber under the sheets!

#7 – You can’t do that on land!  The unique properties of water allow for creative and aggressive fitness programming.  Kickboxing in the water lends itself to exciting kick adventures because BOTH feet can come off the floor thanks to buoyancy in the water.  Re-discover boot camp with an H2O twist.  The viscosity of water allows you to push, pull, run, jump, jack and jog much harder!  Get wet and discover moves you never would have thought possible.  A jumping jack with a tuck and half turn, followed by ski moguls and two more jacks before letting your feet even touch the pool bottom?  You can’t do that in your living room or an aerobic studio!

#6 – You get more in one workout.  What happened to leisure activities and spare time?  Most people would agree that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.   Finding time to exercise is the biggest hindrance to people who want to get in shape.  Aquatic fitness provides the perfect blend of cardio and muscle conditioning for people who are pressed for time.  Exercising in the pool is like exercising in a liquid gym.  Submerged in water you spend the entire exercise session working your muscles in pairs.  On land, an arm curl would only work the bicep; in water the same arm curl works both the bicep and tricep thanks to submerged resistance.  Furthermore, increased muscle demand creates increased oxygen consumption.  Water fitness is an excellent choice for improving both cardiovascular health and muscle tone, especially when lack of time is an issue.

#5 - You’ll get more out of your core.  Core training is all the rage now.  In prehistoric times we simply referred to it as an ab workout.  Fitness equipment manufacturers keep supplying the market with expensive core training devices and consumers can’t get enough.  Save yourself some money and get in the water!  If you seriously want more out of your core take a deep water fitness class or simply put on a flotation belt and jog/walk in deep water.  Maintaining vertical alignment in deep water keeps core musculature in a constant state of work.  If you are skittish about deep water, consider putting the same flotation belt on in the shallow end and experiment with some suspended movement.  Better yet, float onto your back and treat yourself to some killer crunches in the water.  

#4 – Exercising in water is fun.  Let’s face it - there are people who just don’t like to exercise.  Common psychology dictates that if you dislike an exercise activity you will distract yourself with every excuse you can think of to avoid it.  On the other hand, if you enjoy a fitness activity you will move heaven and earth to participate in that planned exercise session.  Exercising in water is FUN!  There is something about romping around in a pool that makes you feel young and vibrant.  If you enjoy a fitness activity you will commit to an exercise plan.  If you commit to planned exercise sessions over a period of time you will change your body, your mind and your life!         

#3 – Exercising in water is a good workout.  Everyone wants to work hard, including seniors!  Water provides an excellent opportunity for allowing variations in the intensity of a workout.  Unlike land fitness, working out in a pool you are surrounded by a source of resistance and each individual can decide how hard to push, pull and move that resistance during the workout.  Water exercise allows people of ALL fitness levels to work at a pace that is appropriate for their exercise goals.  The more forceful you push the harder the workout.  The secret must be getting out because aquatic fitness formats like kickboxing, boot camp and cycling are bringing younger exercise enthusiasts into the pool along with more men!

#2 – Reduced joint impact.  Unlike today’s children, the baby boomers participated in lots of sports and spent their childhoods playing outdoors. As they got older they kept in shape with running, aerobics, biking and more.  Unfortunately, joint impact issues have sidelined many boomers from the land fitness activities they once enjoyed.  Doctors are encouraging water fitness for good reason.  The buoyant property of water unloads joints and allows for vigorous physical activity with minimal or zero joint impact.  For example, if you are in water that is at chest level you will be bearing only about 25-35% of your body weight.  If you simply flex at your hips and knees and lower into the water at shoulder level you will virtually eliminate impact during fitness activity.  It gets better!  Deep water training is vigorous exercise with zero impact -100% of the time!

#1 – Burn calories and lose weight.  Whether you need to slim down or work hard at maintaining your weight, exercising in water is a safe and efficient method of burning calories.  When you work out in a pool you don’t have to sweat or suffer through the aches and pains of joint impact.  Submerged in water you don’t have to endure numbing boredom on an exercise machine or the shame of stumbling through a complicated class – in full view of mirrors and windows in the aerobic studio. The obesity epidemic is a serious problem and aquatic fitness is a serious solution.  The problem only gets worse when you look at the obesity issues facing children.  Pools provide a great fitness playground for kids.

Countless people worldwide have transformed their bodies thanks to water exercise.  The most un-athletic people suddenly discover their inner athlete unleashed in the pool as they learn how to work the water with power and force.  People who have never exercised a day in their life suddenly get hooked with the fitness bug after just a few aquatic fitness classes.  Water truly is the essence of life.
    
Get wet and get fit!

About theAuthor
Mark Grevelding is the owner of Fit Motivation, a fitness education and resource company based in Rochester, NY.  He is a training specialist with AEA and a continuing education provider for AEA, ACE and AFAA.  Mark recently developed a new line of instructional DVDs, Visual Choreography Notes.
To view all of Mark's Light Hearted Leadership articles, as well as other articles and DVDs - please visit www.fitmotivation.com

      
      


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