Low-Impact Water Workouts
A low-impact water workout is ideal, regardless of your age or current fitness level.
If you head to a water-based destination on vacation, instead of skipping your workout routine, you should consider taking to the water to get your exercise. This may help to ensure that you avoid gaining too many vacation pounds as a result of lazing around. Also, if you’re looking to challenge yourself without putting stress on your joints, or you just like being in the water, you’ll definitely enjoy giving water exercises a try. There are many types you can do. Here are three of my personal favorites:
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a combination of kayaking and surfing. It’s one of the fastest growing water sports in the world. Many people are drawn to it because it provides you with a full-body workout. It improves your core strength, cardio fitness, balance and flexibility, with virtually no impact. It’s also a lot of fun.
Your core will be working overtime to stabilize your body position, and as you add in the paddle motion, you’ll also get a shoulder and oblique challenge. The resistance created by the paddle in the water will help you gain muscular strength. Paddle boarding is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels, and unlike surfing, you don’t need waves to do it. Calm, flat water is perfect for beginners, and you can do it on an ocean, lake or other body of water.
Water exercise classes are a fun way to use the resistance and buoyancy of water to condition your muscles and improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility. By employing strengthening exercises and stretching techniques, such classes can help you increase your body’s tone and range of motion. You don’t need to attend an official class to get a great workout. Simply hop into the pool and experiment with different movements that take your joints through their full range of motion.
Swimming can help you to improve your aerobic fitness level, because it forces your body to learn a new breathing pattern. Being face down in water means your body must learn to adapt quickly. By expanding the depth and volume of each breath, you’re forcing the lungs and heart to process oxygen more efficiently. Because swimming creates no impact on your joints, it’s great for giving your overworked muscles a break from high-impact activities like running or weight training, which can place stress on the joints of your hips, knees and ankles. Plus, you can choose whether you want to swim to relax or create a calorie-torching, total-body workout with lots of laps.
You don’t have to be on vacation to reap the benefits of being in and around water. Its tranquil nature can help you to feel relaxed and may help you to relieve stress. I love to add a water exercise day into my week all year-round. And because of the resistance it creates, I know I’m burning a significant number of calories each time I do it.
It’s fun to get out on the water and enjoy nature, and it hardly ever feels like exercise. This summer, consider staying active with some water exercise.
Written by Samantha Clayton, OLY, ISSA-CPT – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness