The sun is shining and the pool is open for summer. Change your workout routine and jump in the pool for some exercise that is not only enjoyable, but also refreshing and good for you. According to WebMD, water aerobics are considered a safe alternative to standard aerobics and very low impact, putting very little stress on your joints. They also prove to be a better workout than those performed on land due to the resistance of the water.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that just two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical activity, such as swimming, can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses. Water-based exercise can help people with chronic disease like arthritis by improving use of joints without making symptoms worse. For those with depression, water exercise may improve mood and lower anxiety. An aqua noodle may look like a pool toy, but it is an easy way to get started with a water workout routine.
Abs, Hips, Legs
Float in deep water with the noodle behind your back, along your shoulder blades and under your arms, resting your hands on each end of the noodle.
Point your toes and straighten your legs down toward the bottom of the pool.
Tighten your abs and raise your knees up toward your chest, stopping at waist level.
Hold for two seconds, then straighten your legs.
Do 20 reps. Self.com calls this exercise the "Cannonball."
Stand waist deep in the water and place the noodle horizontally in front of you.
Place hands on the noodle shoulder-width apart and push down on the noodle so it goes under the surface of the water and almost touches your thighs.
Slowly guide the noodle up out of the water; repeat 20 times. The LA Times says pressing the noodle into the water creates resistance for the arms.
As with other forms of physical activity, there are risks. Always talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. Make sure there is someone nearby when exercising in a pool in case of an emergency. Never swim alone.
American Health and Beauty suggests this exercise for your buttocks: Stand in waist-deep water with feet hip-width apart. Hold the noodle on the water's surface with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
Push the noodle down as you raise one leg behind you until your leg is parallel to the pool bottom.
Do 10 reps on one leg, then switch sides and repeat.
Valerie Tunks is a nationally certified counselor and board-certified life coach in northern Virginia. She specializes in general wellness, parenting and education. Tunks holds a B.A. in communication from Arizona State University, as well as an M.A. in education and human development with a specialization in school counseling from The George Washington University.