In need of a refreshing cooldown? Try chilling out in a cool pool. • During the hot and humid Florida summer months, splashing around in the water can be quite invigorating. And healing, too, as water can provide a low-impact environment, which is very beneficial for people dealing with arthritis, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure and knee, hip or back issues.
Water-based exercise is an excellent way to remain cool, reduce stress levels, have fun, get fit and derive multihealth benefits all at the same time. It can be a super risk-free exercise gym!
With water providing the buoyancy needed to support the body, it will offer protection from high impact, reducing stress on joints and bones, a big plus for those who cannot exercise comfortably on land. And water is not only for those dealing with limitations; the intensity in which you work can be dictated by your physical abilities.
Swimming, one of our country's most popular sports activities, is a great way to get your aerobic fix and build up your cardio endurance. But you do not have to be an avid swimmer to gain the physical and mental health benefits; nonswimmers can safely participate in water aerobics by standing in chest-high water or by wearing a flotation belt if working in deeper water.
If you work in chest-deep water, 85 percent of your body will be supported; in neck-deep water, 90 percent will be.
Thanks to the density of the water, it offers resistance from all directions, which helps develop toned muscles. And because the effects of gravity are reduced, you can easily move your joints through a wider range of pain-free motion, increasing flexibility.
Many of today's trendy exercises have been adapted for the pool: Zumba, yoga, pilates, tai chi and kickboxing.
When finished with your workout, it is delightful to just spend a few moments floating aimlessly on a raft. It's worth taking the plunge!
If you are 50 or older and have not been exercising, check with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Trainer Sally Anderson is happy to hear from readers but cannot respond to individual queries. She can be reached at [email protected]