The sun is beaming and the heat rays are scorching. But that doesn't have to put a damper on your workout. Make a splash with water workouts.
Water is an ideal medium for exercise. It's been used for decades by sports physiologists and physical therapists. That's because water workouts place no stress on the joints. People with arthritis, bone fractures and other injuries can exercise and even recover more quickly in the water.
Water also produces its own resistance, so performing a movement in water expends more energy than performing that same movement on land.
Ready to suit-up? Grab your goggles and check out one of these water workouts:
Running full throttle in waist-deep water is a sure-fire way to blast calories this summer. Burn up to 15 calories per minute while sprinting through the water. Meanwhile, deep-water endurance running can help you burn up to 12 calories per minute.
Deep-water running involves wearing a buoyancy belt, so that you can run—remember to run, not bicycle—without your feet touching the bottom.
Check into waterproof gear, like a MP3 player with waterproof headphones to pump-up your water running regimen.
Aquatic ClassesThe hottest new classes in gyms and sports clubs across the country are all wet. Yoga, kickboxing and even cycling in the water. Students flock to the classes to enjoy the high-intensity exercise regimen with no impact to the joints. No longer relegated to those needing rehabilitation from injuries, water aerobics classes are more popular than ever.
Resistance TrainingWater provides natural resistance not found on terra firma. Your core is worked throughout your movements to stabilize your body against the fluid flow. You can add even more resistance with some of the newest gadgets on the market. Webbed gloves and hand buoys (water-friendly barbells) add resistance for upper-body movements.
Skim the TopDon't neglect the variety of options for fitness on top of the water this summer. Rowing, canoeing and kayaking can burn anywhere from 200 to 500 calories per hour. Rowboats can tip more easily than canoes or kayaks, so you may want to start with one of the latter.
Try your hand with the paddles on calm water before venturing out to the rapids.
No matter what aquatic fitness regimen you choose, always keep safety in mind. Here are five tips to safely make a splash this summer.
- Bring a Non-Breakable Water Bottle With You: Just because you're in the water doesn't mean that your hydration levels will stay up to par. You still sweat in the water, and you need to replenish your fluids.
- Start Slowly: Plan just a few water workouts per week and pay attention to your body. Gradually increase the time and intensity as your body feels ready.
- Wear Appropriate Attire: Consider water shoes, which support your foot and keep you from slipping.
- Ask Questions: Before signing up for a class, ensure that your instructor is trained and certified in aquatic exercise.
- Buddy Up: Never go swimming or attempt aquatic exercises alone in a remote location, particularly a river or reservoir where currents and undertows can surprise you.
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. Today the program boasts more than 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in all 50 states and 32 countries. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor. For more information go to jazzercise.com or call (800) FIT-IS-IT.