Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • December 2016
Written by 

Water can help ensure your resolutions don’t sink

It’s the time of year when, in between turkey, stuffing and holiday cookies, resolutions start entering our thoughts. While many of us make resolutions with the best of intentions, unfortunately, not many of us are able to keep them. No matter if you are looking to start anew, make a positive change or push yourself to the next level, the keys to success are not only setting realistic goals, but having an action plan to be successful. For cold Wisconsin winters, aquatic exercise can play a helpful role.

Resolution for weight loss

Aside from the pain relieving effects of water, lap swimming and water aerobics slim the body better than most land based workouts and reduce the risk of overheating during exercise. And because 90 percent of weight is eliminated when submerged to the neck, deep water exercise classes and aqua jogging exert less pressure on bones and joints. For these very reasons people who are overweight have an easier time committing to aquatic exercise because they can work out for longer periods without feeling fatigued or distressed. If you are new to exercise, start slowly with 30 minutes of low-impact exercise like swimming or water walking, using light weights for toning.

Resolution for taking your fitness to the next level

Cross-training is ideal for anyone, whether you are a beginner who wants to get into shape or an experienced exerciser (runner, bicyclist) looking to take fitness to the next level. Cross-training is truly the backbone of any well-developed exercise program, and it emphasizes swimming/water exercise as a key low-impact workout for injury prevention, greater fitness in competition and during the off-season, rejuvenation, and enhanced motivation. By keeping exercise interesting, interchangeable and enjoyable, you are less likely to derail from your fitness resolution.

One of the most common mistakes people make with exercise is repeating the same routine week after week. However, to continue to improve your fitness level and reap all the benefits of regular exercise, you need to keep your body guessing. For example, swimming one mile in a pool is equal to running four miles on land, making it a great endurance alternative not only for when wind chills near zero, it also helps you avoid overuse injuries. By varying your workouts and using different muscle groups, you will reach a higher level of fitness:

“No tree can bear fruit in all seasons, and no athlete can train hard throughout the entire year.”

Resolution to improve your quality of life

Ring in the New Year with a personal resolution to increase your health and fitness!

Getting in shape, losing weight and building muscle not only helps prevent certain medical conditions they are also key components in treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.

Water is also a wonderful “equalizer.” Even if you have a physical limitation or health condition, there are numerous aquatic classes and workout options available to match your individual exercise needs.

No matter your personal goals, be sure to go beyond simply making the resolution and develop a realistic plan that will help you get there. If you are not sure where to start, sign up for a session or two with a personal trainer or adaptive aquatics instructor to learn the ropes and keep you focused on achieving your fitness goals.

Of course if you have a medical condition, it’s important to ask your doctor or physical therapist about starting a new workout program before you dive in. Once you are cleared for aquatic exercise, take your workouts to the water. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, ease pain symptoms, take your fitness to the next level or regain independence, the pool is the perfect place to start.

And, if you have a friend or loved one that you want to support, search your community for pools that offer a gift certificate. Spice up your holidays with this perfect stocking stuffer. Maybe you can even join them! Happy New Year!

Bonnie Murry

Bonnie Murray is a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, certified in Adaptive Aquatics Interventions with multi-disabilities. She’s been at the Aquatic Center at CP since 2012 and works with patrons with neuromuscular disorders, post-trauma rehabilitation needs, pain management and personal fitness goals.

Website: www.cp-center.org/aquatic-center
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