Monday, June 15, 2009

Workout in the Water

“Hey, swimmers, don't limit yourself to lanes, the aquatic version of a hamster wheel. And landlubbers, give up the notion that strength training and cardio are best done on terra firma. Aqua aerobics, or aquatic fitness, is no longer the domain of people recovering from injuries, trying to exercise despite limited abilities or struggling with chronic conditions such as arthritis. Pool workouts are hot, especially group exercise classes. The latest ones incorporate Pilates, kickboxing and strength training, targeting all muscle groups and building endurance. ‘Working out in the water is excellent cross-training,’ says Julie Seamster, an aquatic fitness instructor at California Family Fitness in Sacramento. ‘On land you're using gravity, but in water you're using the water's properties -- it's heavier than air, and you have resistance in all directions.’ Water also provides bones and joints with a break from constant pounding -- a big boon for those who run or play sports such as soccer, volleyball and basketball. "You can exercise at a high intensity with zero impact," says Niecia Staggs, a masters swim coach at Equinox. ‘You also have the challenge of maintaining core stability,’ says Doris Dodge-Thews, a master trainer with 24-Hour Fitness. ‘Any time you're in water, you challenge the core to maintain any movement.’,0,2431765.story

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