It's a new year here in Arkansas and many individuals made New Year’s resolutions to get fit in 2011. Unfortunately, as the year progresses, some of those people will falter in their fitness programs and in their goals to get healthier and stronger. If this describes you, maybe it's time to look at changing your routine instead; new exercises will keep you from getting bored, helping you stay motivated. And unlike most land-based fitness activities, your muscles and joints are much less vulnerable to injury when you exercise in the water.
Once you've decided to try aquatic exercise, there are a variety of options to consider besides swimming, the obvious choice. The one that requires the least amount of planning but would probably be most expensive is to buy an aquatic treadmill or bicycle. Yes, you can use your favorite gym equipment in your backyard swimming pool! Some water treadmills allow you to perform exercises like crunches and dips in addition to walking or running in your pool. Aquatic bikes and treadmills are particularly helpful when you're recovering from an injury – they are often used in physical therapy programs.
If you want to walk or run in the pool for exercise but don't want to buy a treadmill, you can do so with relatively inexpensive equipment or even no equipment at all. Aqua jogging allows you to run while avoiding the potential repercussions from high-impact running on land. Because water provides more resistance than air, you’ll still reap the many fitness benefits of jogging. To get started, research aqua jogging workouts online and select a routine you'd like to try. As you increase your fitness level and/or start jogging in deeper water, you may want to add aqua fitness products such as a water noodle, aqua jogging belt, hydro-resistant arm and leg trainers, or aquatic dumbbells to your routine.
When an exercise partner or group is available, don't forget to challenge them to a game of aquatic basketball, baseball or volleyball. You'll have fun while getting fit!
Hopefully these aquatic exercise tips will give you some new ideas about how to approach your fitness program. Of course, you should consult your physician before embarking on any exercise program and follow swimming pool safety rules when you exercise in the water. Keep track of your exercises – and your results – in a journal so you can progress at a slow but steady pace. And if aqua fitness has helped you, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section! Many customers choose to heat their pools for these reasons. In Arkansas, we are fortunate enough to have warm weather at least eight months out of the year.
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