by Joie de Vivre
It's common knowledge that swimming is a marvelous, whole body, no impact workout. But what if racking up laps is not your idea of fun? Easy. Just take your favorite form of exercise and toss it in the pool.
Marc Bloom, an award-winning NY Times writer, Sr. Contributor to Runner's World magazine and acknowledged authority on fitness, heartily advocates water workouts. "While you can't walk on water, you can walk in it. I'm a frequent water-trainer and when I've found myself in a small, shallow hotel pool, I've gotten a good workout from simply walking laps with the water up to my waist."
According to BestAerobicWorkout.com, the benefits of water workouts are manifold: [edited]
Since water provides buoyancy and support for the body, there is significantly less risk of bone and joint injury, which makes it ideal for 'golden-agers' who suffer from arthritis or back pain. Doing exercises in water helps an individual feel less achy and sore following the workout.
Some individuals claim they experienced faster shaping and toning of muscles when doing water exercises in contrast to performing them at home or in the gym. Since water has higher density compared to air it offers increased resistance which can contribute to better muscular improvement and stamina.
This is great for burning calories and therefore losing weight. It is not uncommon for an exerciser to double the number of calories burned by doing the same exercise in water that she is accustomed to doing on land.
Fortunately for dance enthusiasts like me, aqua dance is starting to float into the mainstream.
IdeaFit asks, "Are you looking for a new way to add spice to your water fitness program? Try adding dance elements. Aqua Dance captivates the joy of movement and the expression of life through integrating world rhythms and music. The fusion of aquatic fitness with dance-based choreography will give you, as an instructor, a movement base free from the boundaries of geography and gravity, limited only by the possibilities of the human form."
Even Zumba is getting into the act with new AquaZumba class which are just like they sound -- participants engage in the genres traditional moves such as the Zumba shuffle, but with the benefit of added resistance.
On the more lyrical end of the spectrum, in addition to Mermaid Camp in 2012, Siren School will be offering Water Nymph getaways for those who would like to make a splash with the free use of both legs.