Water Workouts for the Summer

When you live in our area of the country, the weather is HOT this time of year. If you are someone who isn’t able to go to a gym or if you would rather resort to outdoor activity for exercise, it’s hard to find the motivation to go running or do bleachers when the heat index is 105 degrees (or higher) with 100% humidity. If you have access to a pool, chances are you are going to be in it all the time during our hot summer seasons. Why not make your swim time productive and turn it in to a workout session? You stay cool, you avoid the crowd at the gym, it’s an easy way to get some exercise in and - BONUS – you can even get a tan while you do it! Or a burn, like me.

Being in the water actually makes your workout a little more advantageous because of the resistance in the water. You have to try a little harder to get those moves down all the way because the water is constantly trying to push you back.

So, time to dive in and get started!

 

  1. Side Burpees

Targets abs, obliques, hips, and legs

  •  Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  •  In deep end, hold on to edge of pool with right hand so that body is perpendicular to edge; tuck knees into chest to place both feet flat (right stacked above left) against side wall of pool as high as possible.
  •  Maintaining hand grip throughout, jump feet off wall and extend legs as you engage abs to bring body as parallel to surface as possible in a side-plank position (left hip now stacked above right). Return to tuck and continue for 1 minute.
  •  Switch sides and repeat for 1 minute.

 

  1. Deck Dips

Targets triceps, abs, and obliques

  •  Begin with your back facing side wall of pool and place palms on edge behind you, fingertips facing forward; bend left knee to place left foot flat against wall and raise straight right leg to hip height in front of you.
  •  Straighten arms to lift out of water; lower to start.
  •  Do 10 reps; switch legs and repeat.
  •  MAKE IT EASIER: Keep both knees bent and both feet flat on wall. (If booty scrapes the edge, you can also do this in corner of pool.)

 

  1. Aqua Teaser

Targets shoulders, arms, abs, and hips

  •  Standing in shallow end, simultaneously sit back into water, treading with hands out to sides, and lift both legs together so that you fold at hips to create a wide V shape, with head and toes just above surface.
  •  Quickly bring knees to chest — or bring legs as straight as you can toward chest to make V less wide — then extend legs to return to V position.
  •  Do 15 to 20 reps. Continue treading with hands for 1 minute.
  •  MAKE IT EASIER: Skip knee tuck and simply hold V position for 1 minute.

 

  1. Water Taxi

Targets back, shoulders, arms, chest, and abs

  •  Sit on kickboard with knees together, legs dangling or skimming bottom of pool.
  • Extend arms in front of you, palms facing away from each other, then sweep arms out to sides (as if doing a breaststroke).
  • Continue stroking across pool for 30 seconds, then switch stroke to go in opposite direction: Bring arms out to sides with palms facing forward, elbows slightly bent, then sweep arms together in front of you. Continue for 30 seconds, squeezing shoulder blades as you push forward and back.

 

  1. Tombstone Kick

Targets back, arms, abs, butt, and legs

  •  With your back to edge of pool, hold kickboard with both hands so that it's vertical (rounded edge up) and half of it is below surface of water.
  •  Push off wall with feet, holding kickboard in tombstone position, and kick as hard as you can toward opposite side of pool.
  •  Continue for 1 minute.
  •  MAKE IT HARDER: Hold kickboard horizontally and completely submerged.

 

 

Happy swimming, folks! If you think of any other effective pool exercises, let us know all about them! We would love to hear from you!

Why Run?

We're talking about running today in honor of National Running Day earlier this month!

It’s been said that exercise is a form of medicine. That’s definitely no joke! Simply 30 minutes of activity a day can do more for your body than you probably realize. Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and so much more. So, is that it? Of course not! Running can not only help you physically, but mentally and emotionally.

 

1. Joint problems? Running helps strengthen you bones and promotes overall joint health, especially with knee pain. We know what you are thinking – running is bad for your knees though, right? Not necessarily. Studies have shown that people with bad knee problems do not usually have a history of running, where as those who don’t have knee pain at all do. The best thing you can do for yourself is find the right pair of shoes and make sure you are running correctly. Form is everything!

 

2. Running can help you in your weight loss journey. Everyone knows that cardio burns the most calories, even after your session – it’s called the “after burn.” You don’t even have to be running quickly to achieve this either! Run at a little faster than your slowest pace, but not quite as quick as your fastest.

 

3. Running improves happiness and overall mood. You have heard of “runners high.” Studies have shown that just simply those 30 active minutes a day can immediately improve your mood and the more you do it, the effects will soon become long-term.

 

4. Running will add years to your life and keep your mind sharp as you age. It’s plain and simple – a healthier body leads to a longer living body. Regular activity also regular exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline, particularly functions like task switching, selective attention, and working memory.

 

So there you have it, folks! Running is probably one of the best things you can do to your body. Not much of a runner yet but want to improve? Couch to 5K workout plans are good options. Remember to find a good pair of running shoes as well. For those of you in our area, our friends at On the Run in the Colonnade will be glad to help you find the running shoe fit for your needs!

Now get out there and hit the trails!