Hard-core exercising may not be at the top of your to-do list; however, water aerobic exercises with their low-impact, gentle-on-your-joints benefits offer a great alternative to traditional exercise at a gym.
Perform the exercises below at least three times a week to experience greater flexibility, bone density, and cardiovascular function–plus relief from joint and arthritis pain!
1. Aqua Jogging- Aqua jogging is the perfect aerobic, low-impact exercise to get the heart pumping and blood flowing throughout the body. Aqua jogging can be as simple as jogging through the water from one side of the pool to the other. This exercise can also be simplified to walking back and forth in the pool or jogging or marching in place. Aqua jogging is designed to get the heart rate up and keep it up, so whichever modification you choose, be sure it’s at least a little challenging.
2. Flutter Kicking- Flutter kicking is another great low-impact cardio exercise. This exercise can be performed with or without a kickboard. With a kickboard, hold it out in front of you and flutter kick your legs to propel you back and forth across the pool. You can also flutter kick without a kickboard if one is not available. Perform a front float with your head above water while holding onto the side of the pool and flutter kick your legs. Whichever way you do it, kick at a steady tempo that doesn’t tire you too quickly but also gets the heart pumping.
3. Leg Lifts- Using the resistance of the water, leg lifts work all of the muscles in the legs. For this exercise, stand in the pool and lift one leg out to the side and back down. Repeat until your leg feels tired, then switch legs and perform the exercise on the other leg. Not only does this exercise work the legs, but it also improves balance and strengthens your core.
4. Standing Water Push-ups- Water push-ups are a great way to build arm, chest, and shoulder strength without putting too much pressure on the joints. Stand along the side of the pool and place your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart on the gutter or edge of the pool. Bend your arms and lean in toward the wall, then push yourself back out. Repeat this exercise slowly and until your arms feel tired. Be careful not to push it too hard until you know your limits.
5. Arm Curls- For this exercise, stand in the middle of the pool with water weights. Water weights don’t have to be used, but they do offer extra resistance. Hold the weights in front of you, arms in front with palms facing out. Curl the weights up then back down and repeat until fatigue. This exercise can also be done with palms facing toward you instead of away with the same curling motion.
If you have any further questions, you are welcome to reach out to any of our Fitness Representatives or Personal Trainers. Thanks to Jenna Amazzalorso-Kwasek Franciscan Health Fitness Centers Chicago Heights Program Leader for writing this blog.