Swimming and Aquatic Exercises are perfect for men, women, seniors, teens, and children, regardless of your current fitness level or health issues. Water workouts are great for cardio, increase aerobic fitness, endurance, muscle strength and flexibility. Working out in your pool or spa will allow you to perform exercises that, if done on dry land, would increase your risk of injury. Even if you suffer from a chronic illness, injury or condition, aquatic exercising can be adapted to accommodate any limitations and have tremendous health benefits.
Burn more calories
You’re only bearing about 10% of your weight when you swim, due to the buoyancy of water, combined with the gravitational pull, the water provides support for your body. Therefore, there is less stress on your joints, muscles, ligaments, and bones. You can also burn more calories, in less time, than on land while improving your mobility and flexibility, by doing a range of stretching, aerobic and strength-training exercises. So, if you are overweight, elderly or have a medical condition where you would normally find it difficult to exercise, you will be able to do so safely, for a longer period and all sweat-free!
Great for both mind and body
Additionally, swimming and aquatic workouts are great stress reducers, improve your mood and can make you feel better, increasing your self-esteem. Swimming laps creates a meditative state. Swimming and/or water exercising on a regular basis will help you fall asleep at night easier, and your quality of sleep will improve, which is crucial in reducing inflammation, the healing process and for weight loss.
The following are some suggested exercises:
Water walking or jogging
Walk or jog for in waist-high water, this is a great way to get your heart rate up and warm up your body while burning calories.
Run in a zigzag pattern from one end of the pool to the other, then run straight through all the currents you’ve just created. Do 3-minute intervals, alternating with a less cardio-intensive exercise, such as Pool Plank or One-Legged Balance.
Standing in waist-high water, lift your left knee up and place the middle of a noodle under your left foot. (Its sides will float up into a U-shape.) Keep your hands by your side and balance with your left foot on the noodle for one minute.
Then move your left knee out to the side and balance for another minute. Switch legs and repeat with the right knee lifted and the right foot resting on the noodle.
For an extra challenge, lift both arms up over your head as you balance.
In chest-deep water and with your spine in a neutral position, take a step forward with your left leg and extend your right arm. Then, take a step forward with your right leg and extend your left arm. Repeat the steps consecutively in a winding or curving pattern, challenging your body to move in various directions. The aerobic exercise will gradually raise your heart rate to prepare your body for exercise.
Face the pool wall and hold onto the edge with both hands. Raise your left foot and place your toes against the wall. Keeping your right foot on the floor, jump up and switch the position of your legs. Repeat the exercise 16 to 32 times for an efficient cardiovascular workout.
To stretch and strengthen your upper chest and back, stand in chest-deep water with your arms extended to your sides. With your elbows slightly bent, bring your arms in toward your chest as if you are going to clap your hands. Once your hands touch, slowly move your arms back to the starting position and repeat.
Face the wall of the pool with your hands shoulder-width apart, resting on the deck of the pool. Using only your arms, press down on the deck and gently lift yourself out of the water until your arms are fully extended. Slowly lower yourself
Planks are the perfect core-strengthener, but if you don’t have a strong upper body it’s hard to hold it long enough to give abdominal muscles a good workout, on land. It’s much easier in the pool: stand on the pool floor. Hold a pool noodle (the long cylindrical piece of foam that floats) vertically in both hands. Press it straight down into the water and lean forward until your body is on an even incline. (Your head stays out of the water.) Try to keep yourself stable for 1 to 2 minutes.
Use the resistance of the water to build stronger abdominal muscles. With your back against the wall of the pool and arms resting on the pool deck, slowly raise your legs. Tighten your abdominal muscles and extend your legs to each side, so you are in a partially seated position. Lean back and slowly bring your legs together and then back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise 8 to 16x.
Improve your knee stability and target your hips, buttocks and thighs with this exercise. In waist-deep water, stand facing the wall of the pool, holding onto the deck with both hands. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing at the wall. Tighten your abdominal and buttocks muscles and slowly lower your body as if you are going to sit in a chair. Bend down one-third of the way toward the chair before returning to the start position.
Strengthen your upper chest, back, arms and core with this challenging drill. It also raises your heart rate and burns more calories. Straddle a noodle as if you were sitting on a horse. Pedal around the pool as fast as you can while doing the arm portion of Fly-Backs (see above), opening and closing your arms. Sit up tall with your spine vertical — no leaning. This will force your core muscles to keep you stable. Continue for 3 minutes.
Core Ball Static Challenge
This exercise strengthens your core as you work to keep yourself upright. By changing the position of your arms and legs, it becomes 4 exercises in one.
Version 1: Stand in a lunge with your right leg bent and your left leg extended behind you. Hold an inflated ball about 6 inches in diameter with both hands directly in front of your navel. Keep your shoulders down and back. Hold this position for 30 seconds, engaging your core to keep you upright. Switch legs and hold for another 30 seconds.
Option 2: Do the exercise in version 1, but this time hold the ball with your arms outstretched, so the ball is just under the surface of the water for an added core challenge.
Option 3: Balance on the right leg with your left knee lifted. Hold the ball in front of your navel as in version 1 for 30 seconds. Repeat while standing on the left leg with the right knee lifted.
So, tone up, sleep better and feel happier with your new swimming pool from Desmond Pools. Contact us today for a free, in-home consultation. Our sales representative will personally take the time to answer all your questions.
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