Bee FIT!, Boomers, Featured — December 30, 2011 9:23 am

Plunging in to the perfect workout

Non-impact workouts like yoga and Pilates have been gaining traction for years as these strength-based workouts bring heart rates up without pounding the joints. Now, aqua fitness is joining the ranks of these esteemed “soft” workouts with year-over-year momentum in Blue Valley Recreation’s aqua fitness program.

Also key to aqua fitness benefits is its self-adjusting nature. Water workouts are appropriate for all ages and all fitness levels simply because H2O offers both heavy resistance and light resistance, depending on things like whether a move is performed at the water’s surface or in deep-water as well as things like open or closed fingers and general body position. In this way, novice workout mermaids and mermen can begin moving in a workout that wakes up the muscles without too much strain. Water veterans can always find new ways to ramp things up to the next level.

And while the benefits of aqua fitness as a workout are vast, it seems everyone’s favorite turns on the speedy results obtained in quality aqua fitness classes. “My clothes fit better!” is the phrase heard most often after just a few classes. As water workouts continue, specific muscles lengthen and tone. Stamina quickly increases, too.

Finally, aqua fitness delivers the fun factor—which is too often contrary to many workout methods. Moving through water is moving through buoyancy, meaning gravity becomes a nonissue. Running and jumping literally become a whole new paradigm in the water.

And because new science tells us training the body to do out-of-the-ordinary things is good for the brain, yet another benefit is chalked up to aqua fitness.

A tidal wave of health news reports about the body and mind’s need for exercise seem to come online and over the airwaves nearly every couple of weeks. The paradox of this is the huge number of exercise options available. From health club memberships to late-night infomercial equipment that promises a “fabulous new you”, plenty of avenues toward physical activity exist. And though health clubs see an up tick in membership every January and sales of exercise equipment hawked during the wee hours is strong, researchers tell us obesity is now a national health epidemic.

Hmmm.

The disconnect seems to lie in the field of good intentions. In others words, just because exercise is great self-care, follow-through doesn’t necessarily follow. The key, it seems, is looking forward to a great workout with immediate and long-term benefits. In this light, aqua fitness fits the bill.

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