Weekly Wellness: Wonders of water workout

by Laura Dillavou

Water workouts have long been known for their ability to sculptand tone muscles. For all of you who long for a break from theweight room, this is your answer. Try an aqua-enhanced workouttoday to better your body and change your routine.

According to Joanne Maybeck, an aquatic fitness instructor forNew York Sports Club who is certified with the American Council onExercise and the Aquatic Exercise Association, the body weighs 25percent of its normal weight in the water. This great reduction isonly further improved by the resistance that water gives againstthe body.

While working out in the gym, weights and bands are used toexercise resistance against the body. However, the water presents a12 times greater resistance against movement, making your body workharder than on land. This also helps make workouts more effective,with a 45 minute aerobic class packing the same punch as longerlandlocked routine.

Another big benefit to water workouts is their ease on the body.One of the most common complaints of runners and weight lifters isthe stress it puts on the knees, back, and almost all muscles. Inthe water, your body is floating and using that buoyancy to cushionmovements.

In water aerobics classes, instructors use very commontechniques to create a fun and fulfilling workouts. Jogging, inboth shallow and deeper water, as well as skipping, jumping andlunging creates an effective glut and quad toner, whereas Styrofoamdumbbells give further resistance for arm and shoulder toners.

While water aerobics work well for some, maybe those lesscomfortable in the water, lap swimming is another approach tobreaking workout boredom. Swimming laps has long been known tocreate endurance and build very toned and strong muscles.

By starting with just a 20 minute workout, you will set yourselfup for a good session of calorie burning and cardiovascularactivity. Experts recommend taking a dive before breakfast and thestart of a day, or after work and before dinner. Both are goodtimes to let the body immerse itself into the water and put energybehind the effort. (weightwatchers.com)

Over time, lap swimmers will see muscle strength and tone inareas other than the obvious. Swimming is a great way to improveback and ab muscles. This activity also helps to heighten thebody’s metabolism and heart health.

For many, swimming is a daily part of live that furthers theirhealth. So next time you look around the weight room with dread,consider slipping on a suit or trunks and diving into the pool. Itis certain to wake you up and change the normal routine.

Cowles Pool, located in the fitness center, is open for lap swimfrom 6 to 8 a.m. weekdays and available for open swim from 11 a.m.to 1 p.m. weekdays.