Creating a Water Fitness Routine
A water fitness routine can be an ideal exercise solution for many people of differing ages and levels of fitness. An older person with arthritis or perhaps a back condition may find a pool the perfect place to obtain a lower-impact aerobic workout. An athletic youth can use a pool to build strength and endurance. A home pool can provide a healthy exercise regimen for the whole family without the cost of joining the gym.
Your backyard swimming pool can truly become your very own fitness complex. To help get you started, there are many books, videos and online articles available that can help you design a routine and learn the correct techniques for safety and success. Equipment designed for water fitness, such as swim bars and buoyancy belts, can also be purchased to help you maximize your fitness routine. Before beginning your own exercise program, be sure that you consult your doctor.
One thing to remember when designing your workout is that to get an effective cardiovascular workout in a pool, you must move rapidly and work with effort. There are numerous exercises you can do to achieve this. For instance, you can put on a buoyancy belt and do some deepwater running — just move your arms and legs as you would if you were running on land. You can also do jumping jacks, knee lifts, karate kicks and punches to get that heart rate up. Even just swimming several quick laps in the pool will help boost your heart rate.
A good routine should also involve some resistance-training exercises to help tone your muscles. One of the great things about water is that it naturally provides resistance, or drag — that resistance you feel as you move through water. To increase the effectiveness of your workout, water barbells can be purchased and used to do water weightlifting. Bicep curls, arm raises and other barbell exercises can be performed in the water just as you would do them on land.
Those with arthritis and other painful muscle or joint conditions may need to create a less rigorous exercise routine, but water fitness can be an ideal solution for people with these types of conditions. In general, the buoyancy of pool water makes exercising easier on the joints. The pool’s water pressure can even, in many cases, decrease joint swelling. The warmer the pool water, the more relaxed your muscles will be, thus making movements easier and less painful. Always make it a habit to let your muscles relax before and after the exercise routine. It is also best to move your arms or legs slowly and gently when attempting a full range of motion and never force a movement. Begin and end your routine with the easiest exercises.
Whatever your particular fitness needs and physical condition may be, a water fitness routine can be designed to meet your needs. Once you find the routine for you, you can start your path to better health and fitness with a regimen that is both low-impact and effective. And of course, playing in the water is always fun!