Spring is a season of renewal and change, so why not mix up your fitness routine with a refreshing water workout? This is the perfect time of year to glide into the water, alleviate exercise boredom and achieve better fitness results in a liquid weight room. Remember, muscles have “muscle memory," so if you change up your routine, you shock your muscles, which in turn burns more calories.
Exercising in the water has an assortment of mental and health benefits. For starters, working out in the water gives you natural resistance with absolutely no impact. It stretches your muscles and tendons, strengthens your heart and lungs and provides your mind with a quiet repetitiveness that is somewhat meditative.
There are several different options to consider when searching for a water workout. The most obvious is lap swimming. Swimming laps provides an excellent total body work-out, but in order to get a quality session in, you need to know how to swim. Implementing various strokes is also a plus—freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, pulling, kicking and drills all work different muscles and keep boredom at bay. Shoot for 2000 yards or forty-five minutes of continuous swimming in order to complete a sufficient cardiovascular workout.
If you are not someone that appreciates having their face submerged in the chlorine-infused water, try water aerobics. Like lap swimming, you can get a total body workout, without having to ruin your hair or make-up. Most water aerobics classes have an instructor who stands on deck and leads the class through fancy water moves choreographed to your favorite fitness tunes. Water aerobics classes are usually forty-five minutes to one hour in duration.
Still not convinced that pool exercise is for you? Then maybe pool walking or running will get you splashing. Particularly helpful to the injured athlete, but also a form of excellent exercise for the average person, pool walking or running serves as a low-impact, intense calorie-burning workout that will get your heart racing. In deep water, you will need a light flotation device to keep you afloat. In shallow water, wear water socks or shoes to reduce chaffing which may be caused by the repetitive heel strike motion. Both methods provide adequate resistance to muscle groups yielding an excellent workout.
Recently, there has been quite a buzz regarding the latest and greatest water related fitness activities, such as water-yoga, water-cycling and water-kickboxing. All of which have proved to tone and tighten one’s body without the added stress of traditional weight-bearing exercises. I wonder what will be thought of next!
Unless you have a pool of your own (and it’s heated year-round) you will need to find a place to get your feet wet. In the Gilroy area (and a little further), you have a few options to choose from—all are listed below.