Happy 2015! It’s a new year, and a fresh start! I’m looking forward to putting 2014 behind me, and striving for better in 2015. I know one thing I really should be doing is exercising more… but being the Queen of excuses (including the somewhat valid depression and chronic fatigue), I often find myself avoiding the treadmill in favour of coffee with a friend, or a good book. However, when the lovely Kaitlin Gardner, from An Apple per Day, asked whether I’d like her to tell you guys about her newly discovered exercise routine, I was keen – not only because it;s always nice to be inspired by someone’s new discoveries, but because I’ve actually tried this one myself and had a blast! So, without further ado, here’s Kaitlin!
There are times when I need a workout but the weather is too bad to go outside for a run. The treadmill at the gym is just too monotonous for me, so I look for a change of pace. That’s when aqua aerobics gives me a great workout, and an enjoyable experience at the same time.
The basics. Aqua aerobics doesn’t have to be complicated – if I am in the water doing something that raises my heart rate, that can qualify as a water workout. Part of the appeal is the simplicity – I don’t have to figure out that weight machine at the gym, I can just pop in the water and go aqua walking and I’ll get a great workout. There are a lot of benefits to water workouts and since I’m not much of a swimmer, it gives me a way to enjoy being in the pool. Here are some more resources with additional information:
The gentle part. The water provides a low impact option, which makes it appealing compared to being on a running trail. My legs don’t get as sore when I work out in the water, because my feet land so gently during an exercise. This is because of buoyancy – in the water my body only has to support a fraction of its own weight, so I feel lighter just being in the water. I injured my knee one time and had to take a break for running. I could still work out in the water while letting the injury heal.
The variety. Sometimes at the gym, I will fall into a rut, and go do that same workout over and over. The water provides a perfect way to get a break in my routine. If I’m stressed and need a calm down session, I can go to an aqua tai chi or yoga class. If I need a really vigorous workout, I will go for a kick boxing session. Trying to kick in the water really challenges me. If I’m feeling adventurous, I will go to an aqua Zumba class, where I can do all those sexy hip swinging moves. I’m too shy to try that on land, but in the pool, most of my body is underwater, and if I fall off balance and miss a step, no one can see. If I don’t want to think about what to do next, I just go to a group class and follow the instructor.
Aqua jogging. We all have favourite exercise routines, and for me, it’s hard to beat aqua jogging. I go to our community indoor pool when the lap lanes are open, jump in a lane and begin moving up and down with a good jogging posture. I can get a great cardio burn because of the resistance element of water. I wear some ratty old tennis shoes to protect my feet from the rough pool bottom, and put a water bottle at the end of the lane to stay hydrated. It’s hard to tell when you’re doing it, but you really do sweat in the water.
The health part. In the water, I get a benefit that I can’t get on land. My heart rate will be around 13 percent lower – on average, that’s 17 fewer beats per minute. This is thought to happen because of the lessened impact of gravity and the lower water temperature. This means that I can work just as hard as I would in the gym, and put less stress on my heart. I like that advantage.
When I walk away from a water workout, it’s usually with a smile on my face, because I’ve gotten a solid workout, and enjoyed myself doing it.
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolours. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.
When I gave Aqua Zumba a shot, a friend and I essentially flailed about in the pool for an hour. I’m a true water baby, and a million times better at water sports then I am on land, but even I struggled to keep my feet beneath me – but it was so much fun! I don’t know if you can break a sweat in the water, but you can definitely get out of breath. Aqua Zumba was a fun way to exercise without it really feeling like exercising! That, to me, is the best way to get your heart rate up and that number on the scale down. Now, if only I can follow Kaitlin’s own advice for a healthier 2015! Head on over and check out her blog – it’s full of great, and realistic, tips for a healthier life.