Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Water is a Beautiful Thing!

By Mary Caliendo

Want a quick refreshing dose of beauty? Jump in the pool! Yes! Hit the pool for a great workout. Water is relaxing, refreshing and fun. Exercise helps us maintain our beautiful selves, and water is just another way to get your exercise. It is nothing new, but often overlooked as a viable way to maintain your level of fitness.

Water exercise based classes at clubs used to be touted as classes for recovering injured, the elderly, or for people with chronic illness such as arthritis. But no more, aqua aerobic fitness classes are springing up all over the place!

Water uses no gravity as exercise on land does. While you will not get the benefits of weight-training by using free weights in water (though there are weights for the water), water does provide so much more. Water is actually heavier than air, and is all around you when you are swimming. While you don't feel heavy, your movements are not restricted but you have resistance all around you. And with little or no effort exercise is easy, comfortable, and offers your joints relief from the banging and pounding that exists on dry land.

One can grab the side of a pool and create a great workout, by doing leg lifts, squats, and lunges. Jogging in place, dancing, and jumping up and down (bobbing) can increase the aerobic benefit. To further your workout, grab the pool floats! Use the noodles or the kid's floats to do the bicycle! These exercises use all of your muscles, burn calories, and provide soothing relief. If you are able and want to, amp-up your workout by doing full laps across the pool.

To warm down, just walk or float around. The water is for everyone, and for those of you in areas of seasonal warmth, try to take full advantage of the gym right outside your door!

Jump into the pool with your kids and workout, or start a mother's/ladies swim group and encourage your friends to get healthy and happy as you are enjoying fun in the sun this summer!

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