On a hot day, the last thing most of us feel like doing is working out. Going for a jog sounds utterly daunting – in fact, if it’s hot enough outside, just walking to the mailbox can be a sweat-inducing chore. How do you beat the heat and squeeze in a good workout? Water fitness may be your key to staying fit through the hottest days of summer.
What is Water Fitness?
Water fitness is a generic term for any exercise program that you can do in a pool. Water fitness is largely based around aerobic workouts, although some programs also incorporate resistance training for strength training and muscle toning. Water fitness is a great way to get your heart rate up, which in turn burns calories – even when it’s grueling hot outside and the last thing you want to do is sweat.
Who can Benefit from Water Fitness?
Anyone can benefit from an aquatic exercise program. People who have trouble with traditional exercise get the greatest benefit, including:
- Pregnant women
- People who have trouble with traditional exercise because of their weight
- People with arthritis
- People who are recovering from an injury
- The elderly
- Anyone with limited mobility
Because the water bears a lot of your weight (up to 90 percent!), water fitness is low-impact and low stress. It’s unlikely that a water workout will leave you with sore muscles, which makes it great for people with injuries or people who are new to exercise.
What Water Fitness can Do for You
Water fitness is a great way to improve your overall health, and it also has some very specific health benefits you can leverage:
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Add resistance training
- Improve flexibility
- Burn body fat
The most important thing about water fitness is that it makes it easier for you to do things that may be difficult to do on land, like some stretches, resistance training or even traditional cardio like jogging. The ease of doing these exercises can have a dramatic impact in fitness for people who have problems on land.
Check Out Your Local Pool for Water Aerobics
Water aerobics is getting increasingly popular, and more and more community pools are starting to offer classes. Check out your local pools to see if any of them offer water aerobics or other water fitness classes. It’s low impact and is a great way to burn calories even when it’s blazing hot outside.
Make Up Your Own Water Fitness Program
If you can’t find anyone leading a water fitness class near you, make up your own water fitness program – either at home, or at a community pool. A good water fitness workout should include a warm-up, some cardiovascular exercises, some muscle conditioning that gradually increases in intensity and then decreases again, and a cool-down. Be sure to work in some good flexibility exercises for the entire body in the cool down.
If the summer heat is getting you down, give water fitness a try! It’s a great way to pass a hot summer day (or entire months of them) and still feel fit and look fabulous!