Summer! That wonderful time of the year where the weather is HOT and we love to gather by the swimming pool! So while you are socializing with friends and family, it is the perfect opportunity to use the pool to include some cross training in your fitness routine, especially if you have any arthritis pain!
Water exercise is a great way to get in better shape without putting added stress on joints or strain on the body! Water exercise can create a complete workout improving cardiovascular fitness as well as strengthening and stretching all the muscle groups in the body.
Water acts as a form of resistance, so strengthening exercises can be performed in the water without heavy weights. Swimming, water jogging and aerobics can improve cardiovascular health and endurance, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart and lung disease. Performed properly, water exercise can even reduce back pain and improve posture.
So what can you do to exercise in the water besides swimming? Practice the following exercises for a complete total body workout!
Aqua jogging is a perfect low impact activity to improve cardio-vascular fitness. It can be as simple as jogging through the water from one side of the pool to the other or jogging in place. Grab a pool noodle and you can head to the deep end and start running for a serious challenge.
Power squats, lunges or jumps
Head to the shallow end of the pool, and squat or lunge, and jump up in and out of the position for a fantastic leg strengthening routine.
Using the resistance of the water, leg lifts strengthen and stretch all of the muscles in the legs. For this exercise, stand in the pool and lift one leg in front, out to the side and then in back. Repeat until your leg feels tired and then switch legs and perform the exercise on the other leg. Not only does this exercise strengthening the muscles in legs, and increase the flexibility of the hips, it works the core!
Standing water push-ups
Water push-ups are a great way to build arm, chest, and shoulder strength without putting too much pressure on the joints. Stand along the side of the pool and place your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart on the gutter or edge of the pool. Bend your arms and lean in toward the wall, then push yourself back out. Repeat this exercise until your arms feel tired.
Water abdominal crunches
Grab a water noodle and head to the deep end. Tuck both knees into your chest and then extend them again for a reverse curl-up. To engage the abdominal obliques, keep your legs together and pull them from side to side while still holding to the water noodle.
The back stroke is an excellent exercise designed to improve posture! If you don’t like to swim on your back, stand in water and bring your arms in front of you and then pull arms back squeezing the shoulder blades back together- repeat until fatigued.
So, this summer head to your local pool to socialize and get your workout!
Perform the above exercises at least three times a week and experience greater strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular function–plus relief from joint and arthritis pain!