Jump right in for a total workout
When temperatures soar, working out may be the last thing you want to do. However, a scorching summer day doesn't have to be a fitness death sentence—you can get your sweat on while cooling down in the nearest pool. Water exercise provides a low-impact, total-body workout that won't leave you pulling a sticky t-shirt off your back.
With the temperature up, why not take your workout to the water? Water exercise is a great form of activity that can increase strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. So, skip the gym and hit the pool on a hot sunny day.
Although a lot of people envision the elderly or injured when thinking of water-based workouts, the rest of us can also see results in the pool. While water does produce a buoyant effect on the body, thereby reducing our body’s weight by as much as 90 percent, it is also 800 times denser than air, providing greater resistance with less strain. Because of this denseness, water can provide us with a vigorous total-body workout.
When submerged, water provides the body with an almost cushioning effect for the limbs and tissues. This cushioning effect also produces resistance, so we require more energy to lift our limbs. This energy is tracked in calories. A 150 lb (68 kg) person can burn approximately 282 calories for an hour of water aerobics and about 563 for water jogging.
Claudine Blair, owner of Swim Clo Aquatics and Fitness in Vancouver, loves exercising in water because it is non-weight bearing and changes what were once painful movements for her clients to pleasurable ones. Blair cites the hydrostatic pressure that water produces as one of the biggest benefits of exercising in H2O. Hydrostatic pressure basically massages the body due to water’s denseness, and acts as auxiliary heart pump, increasing circulation throughout the body and back to the heart. This pressure not only aids in getting fresh blood to the various areas of the body, but also helps to support the joints, providing traction to them and increasing their range of motion. Water’s cushioning effect is also ideal for individuals who are at risk of further stressing an injury but still want to continue to work out (for instance, stress fractures of the lower limbs in runners), and for individuals who suffer from orthopedic disorders (such as arthritis, knee injuries, and scoliosis). Nevertheless, consult your health care practitioner before beginning a new exercise regimen, especially if you have an injury or a pre-existing condition.
Perform each of the following exercises, one right after the other, for 45 seconds per movement. Once you have completed one circuit, swim two lengths of the pool, rest for a minute, and perform again the number of times recommended for your level.
For each of the following exercises, Blair recommends that you
While it is important to use your arms in the workout—as this will help elevate your heart rate and burn more calories—focus on your lower body movements first, and then add the arms.
It is easy to get dehydrated while working out in the heat of summer. Implement these three easy tips so you stay hydrated.
If you ever feel lightheaded, weak, nauseous, or exhausted, it might be heatstroke or sunstroke. Get out of the sun and seek medical attention.
Muscles worked: glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, shoulders
Muscles worked: outer hips, inner thighs, quadriceps, core, lateral deltoid, rotator cuff
Muscles worked: outer hips, core
Muscles worked: quadriceps, hip flexors, core, shoulders
Muscles worked: hamstrings, glutes, biceps