I was born in Florida and I like to think I'm a water baby. I love the way water feels so restorative and relaxing when my body needs a break from all the impact I put it through. I also love that swimming and water walking feel so relaxing, yet when I hop out of the pool, I'm tired and hungry (indicators that I've worked hard,) and, it's not uncommon for me to be sore after a water aerobics class. If you haven't tried a water workout, it's time you did! Here are 3 reasons you should try exercising in the water this summer:
1. Low Impact, Varying Intensity - Aquatic Exercise is low impact, but don't confuse low impact with low intensity. Just like with land, water exercise can be performed at both high and low intensities. The buoyancy of the water reduces the effects of gravity and supports 90% of your submerged weight and therefore reduces the impact on your joints. Less impact means less risk for injury as the water acts as a cushion to your bones and joints. This makes water exercise a great option for those who want less impact as well as those looking for a great cross training activity to complement high impact activities such as step aerobics, running, and tennis. As the same time, the constant resistance provides an excellent medium for varying intensity.
2. 360° Resistance - On land, we move with minimal effort through air. Water is approximately 1000 more dense than air and makes water movement significantly more challenging. Water also provides resistance in all directions. Moving slowly in water can feel very supported and restorative, but when you move quicker and/or with more power, the water can provide an excellent challenge and will quickly increase your heart rate. If you want more resistance in the water, create more drag with equipment such as aqua bells, fun noodles, kick boards, and aqua shoes.
3. Improves Circulation - Due to the hydrostatic pressure of water against your body, your heart is able to pump more efficiently by aiding in venous return (the return of blood to the heart.) Therefore, your heart rate and blood pressure are lower in the water than on land. Two things on this. 1. Lower heart rate and blood pressure during exercise can aid making one more comfortable during longer and/or more intense workouts. 2. Between being able to work harder in the water than on land and the relaxing effects of lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, water exercise promotes the overall mind/body feeling of relaxation as well as more efficient and productive sleep. (Yay! For more on sleep, check out Brittany's post The A to Zzz's of Sleep.)
This week, I checked in with our Water Guru - Jennifer Strobel for a water workout that's sure to make a splash in your workout routine. What are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit and mix up your routine this week with Jennifer's Water Fitness Fun Workout:
Here's a printable copy of today's workout: Water Fitness Fun by Jennifer Strobel
And with that, I'm headed to the pool!