Happy 2015 everyone! I hope everyone is getting started with those new healthy habits and New Years resolutions. I’m looking forward to getting back on the exercise band wagon soon after a very sedentary pregnancy, although I’m not so excited about the always crowded January gym scene. I’m scheduled to start Cross Fit again in March but until then I’ll see what I can fit in at they gym. Since I haven’t had time to create much content for you lately I’m featuring a guest post today from the talented Kaitlin Gardner over at An Apple Per Day. She has some great information to share about a different type of exercise if you’re looking to bust out of your gym rut or just try something new!
Take it over Kaitin!
My exercise routine used to be pretty much the same things over and over. I’d go running, and throw in an occasional weight workout. Then the term “muscle confusion” came into vogue, which emphasized the need for variety in workouts. I incorporated aqua aerobics into my fitness goals, and it really added a lot to my exercise.
The basics of aqua aerobics. If I’m in the water doing a workout that increases my heart rate, giving me a cardio component, that can qualify as aqua aerobics. It doesn’t always have to be a class or an exotic routine – though those can be fun. Just getting into the pool and treading water for several minutes can really get my breathing to escalate and my heart pumping. The variety added by aqua aerobics is one of the biggest benefits. Here are some resources with more information about aqua aerobics.
- Get Fit With Water Aerobics
- Water Aerobics and Water Fitness Exercises
- My Ultimate Guide To Aqua Aerobics
Aqua jogging. I’m still a runner at heart, and that’s my primary exercise routine. But as I started to run longer distances, my legs began to hurt and get sore. A man in my running group suggested I check out aqua jogging as a great cross training method. He mentioned that marathon runners regularly use this workout. I went to my community pool when the lap lanes were open, and gave it a try. I got in one of the lanes and began to move up and down it with my best running posture. That’s when I first began to appreciate the concept of resistance. It took extra effort to push my body through the water, and I got a great workout more quickly than I would have imagined. I wore some old tennis shoes to protect my feet, and kept a water bottle at the end of the lane. Now I use aqua jogging at least once a week to give my legs a rest.
Heart health bonus. I read a while back that while you’re in the water, your heart rate will be around 13 percent lower. That means your heart will be going at 17 beats per minute slower than on land. This is thought to be due to the lessened impact of gravity, along with the lower water temperature. So I can work out just as hard in the water, and give my heart a rest. I thought that was a wonderful bonus for adding aqua aerobics to my weekly workout schedule.
Great variety. Going back to the “muscle confusion” concept, one of the things I most like about water workouts is the great variety. If I’m in need of a vigorous workout, I will head to a water kickboxing class. I work both upper and lower body, and really get a super cardio session. If I want that same cardio boost plus some fun, I head to a Zumba dance class, where I get to work out with all those sexy hip swinging moves. I’d never do that class on land, but in the pool, most of me is underwater, so I can really go for it. If I want a stretching session, a water yoga class is great, or aqua tai chi to relax. I can also use water weights and get in a wonderful weight session. When I need a change from my regular gym workouts, the water has a lot to offer. I can even build my core doing the plank in the water, using a foam noodle to support myself. I have begun to think about the pool as my gym in the water.
I’ve really enjoyed incorporating aqua aerobics to meet my fitness goals, and I plan to make it a regular part of my workouts.
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.