Whether you are a busy mom of four or a new mom of one tiny bundle, aqua aerobics is just the ticket for getting fit and trim this swim season.
Aqua aerobics is just what the name implies: aerobic (heart and blood pumping; large muscle groups engaged) movement in the water. And that water, by the way, provides resistance, so simple movements like treading water and even walking the length of the pool are strengthening your muscles and adding a cardio benefit at the same time. Add some light ankle or hand-held water weights and now you have really got a workout on your hands!
If you tend to get a little lazy about your outdoor exercise routine because of the heat, aqua aerobics is exactly what you need: it combines the need to cool off with the desire to exercise and get in shape. If you are a sun worshipper like I am, you probably crave being outdoors. But in the heat of summer, even a walk around the neighborhood can feel uncomfortable, if not miserable.
Another benefit of aqua aerobics: Your kids can be playing and splashing around with you, so you aren’t carrying around any guilt of leaving them to go work out! In fact, prior to discovering aqua aerobics, I had to make my kids get out of the pool while I was away from home and at the gym. Talk about torture—for all of us!
Here is a simple routine that can get you moving in the pool, and get fit and trim in no time. Remember, where you start is not necessarily where you will end up, so if you can’t do something for the number of seconds or minutes listed, don’t give up! Every day that you are in the pool and exercising will make you better than the day before.
- Standing with your back to the wall of the pool in the shallow end, bring one leg up so that your thigh is perpendicular with the surface of the water and your toes are just under the surface). Do ten toe circles (trace a circle about a foot in diameter), first in clockwise, then counterclockwise direction. Repeat with other leg.
- In an area of the pool where the water is about neck high, stand with your feet about a foot apart; raise your hands out to your side so they are just under the surface of the water. Do ten arm circles, first in one direction, and then the other. For an added challenge, move into the deep end and tread water with your legs while you do arm circles.
- Line jumps: Stand in the shallow end and put both feet together. Jump over an imaginary line, forward, and then back. If this is too challenging, jump over with one foot at a time, then jump back. Repeat ten times each direction. Then, do the same imaginary line jump, but to the side. Start with one foot at a time, and graduate to both feet at the same time.
- Treading water in a “V” position: While treading water, lean back a little and bring your knees up to your chest. Then, point toes and extend up out of the water, so that your body forms a V. Try to continue treading water, with your hands only, for as long as you can stay in the V formation. Work up to one minute. Watch those abs transform!
Working out in the pool, or aqua aerobics, is a fun and easy way to exercise and stay cool in the summer. Remember the basics: drink plenty of water, use sunscreen and eat sensibly, and you will be a fitter, more toned water baby in no time!
About the Guest Contributor
Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.