Keeping well with Aquatic Fitness
Obesity in Australia has risen by 27 per cent over the past decade with 3% of adults, 9% of young people and 4% of children now considered obese across the country, and 66% of all Australians now falling into the weight brackets of overweight or obese. Locally, 70% of adults and 26% of children are considered overweight or obese in Penrith.
While I think we are all guilty of piling on a few kilos over the winter months hibernation (Tim Tam anyone?), ignoring weight gain can lead to major health problems, placing us at a much higher risk of diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, arthritis and dementia.
If you are looking to reverse weight gain and improve fitness, the water is a great place to start. Water based exercise burns calories, and provides low impact resistance, making it perfect for weight loss. Body weight is supported by the water around you, and 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, whilst keeping you cool to prevent overheating.
So what options are there to exercise in the water? Lap swimming is the ultimate all-in-one exercise, incinerating calories whilst 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 fun and social way to swim for fitness, and we also 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, 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, tabata and deep water training.
If you prefer to be outdoors and are confident in the water, the waves at the beach provide both turbulence and resistance, constantly challenging the whole body to remain upright or swim through the water, plus the added challenge of running on sand.
Whichever option you choose, please observe basic swim safety and let’s make our suburb fitter this summer!