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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • October 2017
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Behind splashing and jumping is a lot of hard work

When you think of a swimming pool, you probably think of good times spent splashing around and having fun. And while you may not be quite ready to cannon ball your way back into the water, aquatic exercise can be one of the best ways to get your body moving. It’s safe, effective, enjoyable — and a lot of hard work. For good reason. Performing exercises in water, especially the deep end, is a great way to get your heart rate up. The water also provides just the right amount of resistance, keeping your body challenged. All qualities we look for in a good workout, right?

But if you still think diving into an aquatic exercise or therapy program is going to be easy, consider the following:

Low impact doesn’t mean no impact

Aquatic exercise may be easier on joints, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be working hard. Not only does aquatic exercise offer resistance, but it will challenge your balance, aiding in developing a stronger core, increase blood circulation and can help improve flexibility and range of motion. Adding on aquatic equipment like webbed gloves, water belts and weights will also up your impact game.

Your strength may not be what it used to be

With aquatic exercise, the natural impulse is to get in the water and start working at a high intensity. But if you need to rebuild strength, going too hard can lead to doing exercises incorrectly or doing damage. This is why being aware of your general health status and speaking with your doctor before starting an aquatic exercise program is so important.

You may also discover that the help of a specialized class that targets a certain area of the body or working with an aquatic physical therapist can take your health farther. This type of training can not only ensure you are doing exercises correctly, but keep you challenged as well. In fact, aquatic exercise may also help with activities you complete on land.

Dive in and you’ll likely regret it

Yes, aquatic exercise can be fun, but in order to make sure it is also effective, be sure to do your research and find a facility that offers the program or type of exercise you need. If you have any problems with walking or balance, visit the facility before your first class to be sure the lockers and pools are accessible for you. Also, find out if there is space for fitness walking and/or partial weight-bearing exercise. Knowing the layout will help you determine the type of exercises you can do.

Another important thing to check on is their staff. Be sure they have certified trainers and specialists on staff that know what they are doing, can provide proper instruction on exercise technique and will keep you challenged.

I get it, it’s hard to jump into a pool and not smile like you are a kid again, and aquatic exercise can be a lot of fun. But don’t discount the many benefits you gain from exercising in the water just because you’re in a pool. Give it a try and I think you’ll soon learn that aquatic exercise has many advantages ­— all of which help you stay strong, healthy and young at heart. 

 

Traci Ombrello

Traci Ombrello is the manager of CP’s Aquatic Center located in Green Bay. For more information, please visit www.wearecp.org or call 920-337-1122.

Website: www.wearecp.org
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