Jump Right In
3 ways to ensure a new water workout goes swimmingly
THE BEST WORKOUTS are ones that don't
feel like exercise-they are fun. And what's more fun than jumping
into a cool pool on a hot summer day? If that alone doesn't entice
you to begin a water workout, how about this: Swimming is easier on
the joints and the water keeps your body temperature down. As a
result, you can exercise longer in water than you would on land,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In fact, it's the ideal workout for just about everyone, says
Neal I. Pire, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.
"Water is denser than air, so it inherently provides resistance in
all directions, whereas air does not, thus increasing calories
burned during movement," he says. Plus, "the buoyancy of the water
makes it low- to no-impact, meaning you're less likely to
experience the muscle soreness you would in a regular workout."
What are you waiting for? Get out your nose plugs and splurge on
a new suit-here are three ways to get your fitness on in water:
Sign up for a water aerobics class
"A good aquatic exercise class led by an experienced, certified
group exercise professional is probably the best option for almost
anyone who wants to do water exercise," Pire says. "The types of
classes vary, as does the equipment used, but all feature the
buoyancy and resistance benefits." Check with your local gym,
community pool or city parks and recreation to find one near
Walk in water
If you don't have access to classes or it doesn't interest you,
that's OK. Just get in the pool and walk. In fact, many exercises
you do on land-jumping jacks, lunges and jogging-also translate to
the pool. Strap on foam water weights or carry water dumbbells for
Have a pool party
Water exercise doesn't have to be structured at all. Invite
friends to join you in a game of water volleyball or basketball.
Hold a cannonball contest complete with judges' scores. Or, just
splash around or play Marco Polo with the neighborhood kids.
-By Shelley Flannery