Water World, Part 2: Swimming & Water Workouts

By
0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 Email -- Filament.io Made with Flare More Info'> 0 Flares ×

by Allan Richter and Linda Melone
from Energy Times

http://auburnmasterswimmers.org

For an exercise program that’s easy on the joints, strengthens muscles and improves your cardiovascular fitness all at once, just add water. Exercising in an indoor pool or outdoor lake benefits all ages and fitness levels.

by Allan Richter and Linda Melone
from Energy Times

 


 

Water is within us and around us. It is sustenance and recreation.
From actor Ted Danson’s activism on behalf of oceans to the allure of boating,
here are some perspectives on life-giving H20.

Stay tuned for Water World, Part 3 on water births week.

 

For an exercise program that’s easy on the joints, strengthens muscles and improves your cardiovascular fitness all at once, just add water. Exercising in an indoor pool or outdoor lake benefits all ages and fitness levels.

http://auburnmasterswimmers.org

“Water makes it possible to jump higher, run harder, dance with more grace and accomplish more in less time than you can on land,” says MaryBeth Pappas Baun, MEd, health and wellness consultant and author of Fantastic Water Workouts: Proven Exercises and Routines for Toning, Fitness and Health (Human Kinetics). “Plus, the weightlessness and buoyancy of an aquatic environment comforts joints and improves circulation.”

In some cases the resistance that occurs when you exercise in water creates a higher calorie burn. “You can burn up to 525 calories in one hour of water walking, versus only 240 calories for walking on land,” says Baun.

Exercising in water heated to 82 degrees or so helps diminish arthritis pain, allowing joints to work through a greater range of motion, says Baun. The results of a 12-week study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing (1/07) showed improvements in knee and hip flexibility and strength, plus better aerobic fitness in participants with osteoarthritis of these joints. Earlier studies demonstrated strength gains in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when exercises were performed in a heated pool.

 

Water exercises work well for people with injuries, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

 

The cooling effect of working out in an unheated pool also produces benefits. “Much of the heat that the body generates during exercise gets dissipated into the water,” says Baun. “This is important for pregnant women and anybody who becomes overheated with exercise.” This would include people with multiple sclerosis, for example.

Jane Katz, EdD, 68, knows first-hand the healing benefits of water workouts. A competitive swimmer, Katz became interested in water therapy after a serious car accident in 1961. “Doctors told me I’d never swim again,” says Katz, professor in the department of physical education and athletics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and author of Your Water Workout: No-Impact Aerobic and Strength Training (Broad­way Books). Katz was competing again only months after her accident, which she credits to using a combination of Pilates and water therapy.

Katz now teaches firefighters and police officers how to swim in an aqua bootcamp type of program. “Water exercises work well for people with injuries or who have had a hip replacement,” says Katz. For those afraid of deep water, aquatic jogging belts provide vertical balance and security.

“The belt leaves your legs free to exercise. Your head remains out of the water, so you don’t have to worry about your hair or face being underwater,” says Katz, who swims twice a day.

For fitness benefits, strive for a water workout two to three times a week and cross-train with land-based exercises for a well-rounded program, says Baun. Other water exercise tips:

 

• Only use flotation devices designed for water exercise

• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated

• Start with 10 to 15 minutes of water walking directionally forward, back and sideways, being sure to stand tall and engage your core muscles

• Perform stretches holding onto the poolside

• Start each workout with a slow warmup tempo and end with a cooldown period

 

 

Copyright Energy Times. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 


by & filed under Body & Soul, Health & Humanity.