Are you achieving your fitness goals so far this year?
How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Was one of them to get fit? Often people fail by February as we try the same old forms of exercise and get bored, or go to hard too soon and get injured, and ultimately fail. Maybe it’s time to try something new?
The benefits of training in water for both athletes and the general public cannot be underestimated. When standing in chest deep water, a person weighs only 10 percent of his or her normal body weight. The reduction means you can work out harder at higher intensity levels several days in a row, without causing wear and tear on your joints and general muscle soreness. The support provided by the water also makes it an ideal environment for people who suffer from arthritis, back pain, heart disease, obesity, fibromyalgia, or multiple sclerosis.
In addition, water is 15 times more resistant than air, so working out in a pool for 30 minutes gives you similar benefits of a two-hour, land-based workout. Training in the water additionally ensures that you stay cool in warmer temperatures and prevent overheating – particularly important with our extremely high temperatures these past few months!
Many people use water resistance training when injured to maintain their cardiovascular fitness with less impact and therefore less stress on joints, bones, and muscles because of the buoyancy of water. The water is also ideal for post workout recovery and stretching.
So what options are there to exercise in the water? Lap swimming is the ultimate all-in-one exercise, working most muscles in the body with every stroke, increasing flexibility and muscle endurance. Muscles are strengthened and toned as a result of water resistance, core strength is improved, and the nature of breathing whilst swimming promotes greater lung capacity.
Joining a local swim club is a great way to swim for fitness whilst socialising with other fans of swimming. We run weekly classes available for children and teenagers who like to swim for fitness, without the training schedule and competitive aspect that comes with squad swimming.
Aquarobics is another great option, despite it’s image problem – often being seen just as an activity for retirees, the injured or the unfit. In reality, Aquarobics is an exercise option which can be highly challenging and effective, and now attracts a mixed audience of participants across ages, genders and Aquarobics class types, ranging from gentle exercise to high intensity and deep water training.
If you prefer to be outdoors, the waves at the beach provide both turbulence and resistance, constantly challenging the whole body to remain upright or swim through the water. And anyone who has run on soft sand will know the challenge this presents!
Whichever option you choose, please observe basic swim safety and enjoy your water workouts this summer. Good luck in achieving your fitness goals this year!