Please welcome today’s guest contributor, Kaitlin Gardner. I love her site, An Apple Per Day, which is full of healthy-living tips and ideas. And she’s sharing some tips with us today! (I don’t know about you, but every May I crave pool time. The water looks so inviting and refreshing but the pool can also be amazing exercise.
If a workout is a grind for me, I won’t use it. I’ve proven that to myself time after time. So this year when I resolved once again to get into shape, I decided to give aqua aerobics a try. I’m so glad I did. I enjoy being in the water, and there are a lot of choices for water workouts. I’ve even managed to get my family involved.
It’s easy to start.
I have never been much on swimming, so I didn’t think of the pool for workouts at first. I’ve discovered that if I am doing a movement in the water that gets my heart rate elevated – the aerobic part – that qualifies as aqua aerobics. Just doing some jumping jacks in waist deep water can get my blood pumping pretty nicely, and that’s my goal. Here are some more resources with some great details:
The variety is great.
I have found so many great water workout options, it’s hard to decide which one I want to do when it’s time to exercise. If I’m in a rambunctious mood, and need to bleed off some stress, I will go for an aqua kick boxing class. If I’m feeling more adventurous, I go to a water Zumba class, and do all the sexy hip swinging moves in the water. For relaxation, I head to aqua yoga or tai chi. When I don’t want to think about what to do next, I go for a group class, where the instructor leads us through a series of exercises that will work arms, legs and core. When I want a solid cardio workout, my standby is aqua jogging.
The benefits of aqua jogging.
There are two ways to go aqua jogging. Deep water jogging involves putting on a flotation belt and getting into the deep end of the pool. The belt holds you up and you just use your best jogging posture until you get tired. Personally, I prefer shallow water jogging. I go to the community pool when the lap lanes are open, and begin to move up and down one in a jogging motion. Because of the resistance provided by water, I have to lean a little forward, like I’m doing a sprint. I wear old tennis shoes to protect my feet, and keep a water bottle at the end of the lane to stay hydrated. Because the workout is low impact, it doesn’t put a stress on my knees or ankles. The coolness and lightness of the water is very pleasant and makes the workout enjoyable. It’s a wonderful workout when the weather is too hot outside.
The kids wanted in.
Remember how Tom Sawyer got the kids to paint the fence, by being so engrossed in his work? I knew if I asked my kids to go aqua jogging with me they would turn up their noses. So I just kept lightly mentioning how much fun I was having at the pool. My boys would see me smile a lot when I talked about my last jog. They’ve had swim lessons, but for them the pool is about hanging out with their friends. Finally, they got curious and asked to go with me. There was no one at the pool that day, so we all took a lane. They laughed and kidded around until they had to work to keep up with Mom. Then it became like a race, and I don’t think they realized how much good exercise they were getting. My next goal is to coax my husband – a dedicated runner – to try a water workout for cross training.
I smile when I think of how much fun I’m having getting in shape these days.
About the author:
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.
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