BodyFit

Hit The Water And Maximise Your Summer Workouts

beachrunning 599x399 - Hit The Water And Maximise Your Summer Workouts

Summertime is upon us. Scorching, humid conditions naturally bring us out of winter hibernation as we relish the opportunity to bask in and enjoy the great outdoors. While personally, I don’t go many days without dipping my toes in the water/ocean, I am confident in saying it is without a doubt one of the most refreshing ways to incorporate your summer workouts.

While it is easy to maintain a fitness regime indoors during winter, embracing outdoor exercise helps ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression and anxiety – with sunshine naturally increasing serotonin, a hormone that affects your mood. Exercise itself produces endorphins, another feel-good hormone that boosts your mood and reduces pain so imagine the benefits both offer when put together and how this can make you feel!

Water has amazing workout benefits that you simply cannot achieve on land: Firstly, water provides great resistance from all vectors and angles – while working opposing muscle groups. (i.e. swimming or water aerobics).  Another plus is its buoyancy.  The support of water assists in reducing your body weight load (bliss) therefore significantly lessening the amount of stress through your joints, bones and muscles (and this should be music to your ears if you suffer from injuries or pregnant).

Completing water workouts helps engage your core and postural muscles, which tend to become neglected as we age or with other forms of isolating dry land exercises. Another fact you may also be interested in knowing is, any time you’re submerged in water, (whether it’s in the ocean or pool) the forces of water on the body cause an increase in hydrostatic pressure to create an amazing movement of the lymphatic system. This is why swimming, deep water running or aqua aerobics is the absolute ideal form of exercise for people with compromised lymphatic systems.

There are so many ‘cool’ ways to stay fit in the water.  The most obvious is to swim laps at your local pool or estuary.  Aim to build up the workout to be at least 30-40 mins, then alter your sessions to include something like 10 x 100-meter efforts on 2 minutes or 20 x 50 meters on 1 minute (or a time that leaves you breathless).

Kicking with the assistance of a kickboard is an incredible butt and thigh workout.  Once you feel you have mastered the technique of keeping your hips high and using your feet as flippers, again add in sets while working off the clock.  Even adding a set of fins adds another dimension, again, using different muscle groups. A snorkel is a great piece of equipment to use while swimming/kicking (gentler on your shoulders, neck and back) by allowing your body to retain correct postural alignment while reducing the amount of rotation through the stroke.

Deepwater running is not only something athletes do if injury rears, but it’s also something you can easily incorporate in your own backyard pool. Pop yourself in a buoyancy vest or stick a foam noodle under your armpits and mimic a running technique in the deeper section of the pool. Wear a watch and do intervals of 1 minute hard, 30 seconds easy for 20-30mins.   Jump in while the kids are mucking about, and you can play lifeguard at the same time. Win! Win!

Alternatively, take your cross-training to the beach and include wading through the surf with high knees (which I’m confident will tap into muscles you have possibly forgotten exist) or walking in waist-high water.  Mix this with a set of soft sand dune runs/walks and reward yourself with a cool off in the ocean between sets. Keep in mind that although you may be kept cool in the water, you are still sweating considerably so remember to stay hydrated.

Additionally, surfing, standup paddleboarding, windsurfing, or kayaking all require you to master a new set of skills and when presented with a challenging environment, the body and mind changes (the secret ingredient to youthfulness). Muscles strengthen, hearts and lungs get larger and brain connections become faster and more focused. This reorganisation of the brain is the basis of all skill acquisition and development and reiterates the importance of exercise and trying new experiences.

Working out in the water is relatively simple but for obvious reasons, should never be done alone. 

Once the end of summer rolls around, it doesn’t mean you have to stop including water fitness as part of your routine.  Find an indoor pool or wear a wetsuit to keep those endorphin hits going.  Most of all have fun and enjoy the ‘spiritual bath’ that water provides and its abilities to inspire or wash your stresses away.

Summertime is upon us. Scorching, humid conditions naturally bring us out of winter hibernation as we relish the opportunity to bask in and enjoy the great outdoors. While personally, I don’t go many days without dipping my toes in the water/ocean, I am confident in saying it is without a doubt one of the most refreshing ways to incorporate your summer workouts.

While it is easy to maintain a fitness regime indoors during winter, embracing outdoor exercise helps ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression and anxiety – with sunshine naturally increasing serotonin, a hormone that affects your mood. Exercise itself produces endorphins, another feel-good hormone that boosts your mood and reduces pain so imagine the benefits both offer when put together and how this can make you feel!

Water has amazing workout benefits that you simply cannot achieve on land: Firstly, water provides great resistance from all vectors and angles – while working opposing muscle groups. (i.e. swimming or water aerobics).  Another plus is its buoyancy.  The support of water assists in reducing your body weight load (bliss) therefore significantly lessening the amount of stress through your joints, bones and muscles (and this should be music to your ears if you suffer from injuries or pregnant).

Completing water workouts helps engage your core and postural muscles, which tend to become neglected as we age or with other forms of isolating dry land exercises. Another fact you may also be interested in knowing is, any time you’re submerged in water, (whether it’s in the ocean or pool) the forces of water on the body cause an increase in hydrostatic pressure to create an amazing movement of the lymphatic system. This is why swimming, deep water running or aqua aerobics is the absolute ideal form of exercise for people with compromised lymphatic systems.

There are so many ‘cool’ ways to stay fit in the water.  The most obvious is to swim laps at your local pool or estuary.  Aim to build up the workout to be at least 30-40 mins, then alter your sessions to include something like 10 x 100 meter efforts on 2 minutes or 20 x 50 meters on 1 minute (or a time that leaves you breathless).

Kicking with the assistance of a kickboard is an incredible butt and thigh workout.  Once you feel you have mastered the technique of keeping your hips high and using your feet as flippers, again add in sets while working off the clock.  Even adding a set of fins adds another dimension, again, using different muscle groups. A snorkel is a great piece of equipment to use while swimming/kicking (gentler on your shoulders, neck and back) by allowing your body to retain correct postural alignment while reducing the amount of rotation through the stroke.

Deepwater running is not only something athletes do if injury rears, but it’s also something you can easily incorporate in your own backyard pool. Pop yourself in a buoyancy vest or stick a foam noodle under your armpits and mimic a running technique in the deeper section of the pool. Wear a watch and do intervals of 1 minute hard, 30 seconds easy for 20-30mins.   Jump in while the kids are mucking about, and you can play lifeguard at the same time. Win! Win!

Alternatively, take your cross-training to the beach and include wading through the surf with high knees (which I’m confident will tap into muscles you have possibly forgotten exist) or walking in waist-high water.  Mix this with a set of soft sand dune runs/walks and reward yourself with a cool off in the ocean between sets. Keep in mind that although you may be kept cool in the water, you are still sweating considerably so remember to stay hydrated.

Additionally, surfing, standup paddle boarding, windsurfing, or kayaking all require you to master a new set of skills and when presented with a challenging environment, the body and mind changes (the secret ingredient to youthfulness). Muscles strengthen, hearts and lungs get larger and brain connections become faster and more focused. This reorganisation of the brain is the basis of all skill acquisition and development and reiterates the importance of exercise and trying new experiences.

Working out in the water is relatively simple but for obvious reasons, should never be done alone. 

Once the end of summer rolls around, it doesn’t mean you have to stop including water fitness as part of your routine.  Find an indoor pool or wear a wetsuit to keep those endorphin hits going.  Most of all have fun and enjoy the ‘spiritual bath’ that water provides and its abilities to inspire or wash your stresses away.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Let me be Free November 24, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I enjoy breaking up my swimming training and doing some butterfly kick. I can feel my core muscles working!

    • Reply Karla {Ironmum Karla} November 25, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Oh yeh good ole butterfly kick is a good one to get those hips going ๐Ÿ˜‰

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