Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why Pool Fitness Should Be Part of Your Workout Routine--Guest Post

I'm so excited to have Kaitilin from An Apple Per Day here to tell you about her experience with water aerobics.

Why Pool Fitness Should Be Part of Your Workout Routine
Even while raising two children, I have tried to be consistent about getting enough exercise. My husband will tell you that when I’m not working out, I get grumpy at times, and the whole house can feel it. My main passion has been running, but I’ve added in pool workouts, and it’s made a real difference.
water aerobics benefits

The basics of aqua aerobics. In the pool, if I’m doing an exercise that raises my heart rate and thus gives me a cardiovascular benefit, that can qualify as aqua aerobics. I love that there are now a lot of options for using the pool, from aqua kick boxing and the sexy dance moves of Zumba, to the calming of aqua yoga and tai chi. There are numerous benefits to pool exercise, one of which is that I can still work out during bad weather using an indoor pool. Here are some great resources with more information:
Cross training. Over the years, I have found that my favorite form of exercise is running, for a lot of reasons. I get a lot of benefit from my workout in a short amount of time, and I just love being out on the trail, feeling the breeze, enjoying nature, and waving at other runners. But when I started increasing my weekly mileage, I began to feel it in my knees. One of the guys in my running group who runs marathons suggested I add a cross training session each week. He used aqua jogging, so I gave it a try, and I have really enjoyed it.
Aqua jogging. I go to our community pool one day a week when I know the lap lanes will be open. I jump in a lane, and begin moving up and down it with my best jogging posture. Actually, my motion is closer to running a fast interval, meaning that I lean forward a bit like I’m almost sprinting, because of one factor – resistance. The water is a dense medium, and it takes extra effort to force my body forward through the water. I was surprised the first time I went to the pool, because I hadn’t accounted for the extra work, and I had to stop before I planned. It’s a great workout, and I enjoy being in the soothing cool water when it’s a scorching hot day outside, hearing only the gentle lapping of the water. I wear old tennis shoes to protect my feet, and keep a water bottle at the end of the lane to stay hydrated.
Recovery from injuries. I’ve heard runners who have sustained been injured while running say that they used aqua jogging to keep up their condition while they allowed their injury to heal. Because aqua jogging is a low impact exercise, it is really easy on the knees. The foot strike is much more gentle than you have on a running trail, and that allows tired muscles and joints to rest or recuperate. One runner said that after working out only in the pool for 3 months, he returned to the trail and his condition was just as good as when he stopped.
The heart benefit. In the water, a person’s heart rate will be about 13 percent less, or roughly 17 fewer heart beats per second. It is thought that this effect is due to the lessened effect of gravity and lower water temperature. I have never had heart problems, and I want to keep it that way, so any exercise that gives my heart a break in addition to resting tired legs, rates high on my list of activities.
When I told my husband that I had been aqua jogging that day, he just smiled and nodded. He could tell.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

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