Today I have a guest post for you from Kaitlin over at Apple Per Day. It’s funny because she contacted me via e-mail about doing a guest post and I probably ignored the e-mail for a couple of months (bloggers who get all of those weird guest post requests will understand why) until I realized she was a real person. With a real healthy living blog that is super cute and informative. She shares about starting an aquatic exercise routine, which is great because I have little to no knowledge on this subject.
[Photo credit; graphic created by me]
I’m taking some time off from blogging so I can get ready for slash relax at this year’s Blend Retreat. (eek! so excited!)
I was a runner for many years, until my knees started acting up, and my doctor suggested I look for other forms of exercise. He mentioned aqua aerobics, and I had to Google it to find out exactly what that was – I truly had no idea that the pool was good for something besides swimming. I did some investigation, and started to figure out how to develop a routine for water workouts. Here’s what I discovered:
Try a class. I started with a water workout class at the local gym, so I could get oriented to exercising in the water. I was glad I did, because I saw a lot of things that I never would have thought to try. Also, while it’s handy to research online, seeing the actual exercises demonstrated really helped me “get it” a lot better. The part that I didn’t have any idea about was how much fun people have in those classes. I’m used to being around people in the gym who are serious and in their own little world. Well, the workout class was nothing like that. People were laughing and smiling and talking with each other – really having a good time while they worked. It was excellent!
Decide what I want to do. When I visited the class, the instructor asked me “What do you want to get out of aqua aerobics?” I just stood there looking at her with a puzzled look on my face. She laughed and said “There are a lot of different water workouts, so picking one will depend on what you really want to do.” I told her I’d give that some thought. I did some great research online, and the more I learned, the more fun it sounded. Here are some sites I used that had a lot of good information:
Wonderful variety. If I want a great cardio routine, I can go to the gym when the lanes are open in the pool and do some aqua jogging. If I want some meditation, or need to relax, there’s always aqua yoga or tai chi. If I feel rambunctious or need to bleed off some energy, I can go to kick boxing or the super popular Zumba (I haven’t quite worked up my courage for that one yet). The instructor from the class assured me that if I wanted a weight workout, I would be surprised at how solid a weight routine I could get in the pool. The point was that there are a lot of options, and I didn’t have to just do one.
Try some things. It was time for me to experiment, and see what I really liked to do. I went to a kick boxing class one day, and I was worn out by the time it was over – the good kind of worn out where you’ve earned just going home and kicking back on the couch. I loved it, and will go back often. I went to the gym and tried aqua jogging in the lap lanes, and that suited me perfectly. I had a great cardio session, and it felt like the old running days on the trail, only the impact was so much less because of the water that my legs felt great afterward.
Start slow. I ran into my friend Jenny the other day at the supermarket. She was walking like an old achy woman, and I was shocked, so I asked her what was going on. She grimaced and said she had tried a Crossfit class, and they did a bunch of exercises she wasn’t ready for, and she hurt herself. I’ve seen a lot of people who try a new exercise routine and do the same – overdo and then get injured. They usually don’t go back. When I was starting a new workout routine, I had to remind myself to take it easy at first, and that included aqua aerobics. You might think that because you’re in the water, it will be gentle – which it is. But you can overdo a water workout just like you can a kick boxing class on land, so I had to start slow.
Wonderful motivation. By the end of my running career, I admit it – I was burned out. I had run in all kinds of weather, and I just couldn’t get motivated as much for that next run. That was no way to maintain a regular workout routine. But with aqua aerobics, I feel renewed and ready to exercise again. I have gone back to the workout class I started with several times – just to visit with the people and enjoy the positive energy. If I’m energized, I’ll keep doing it, and aqua aerobics has brought back that motivation.
When people ask what I think about aqua aerobics, they can tell how I feel about it before I say anything – they see the smile I get thinking about working out in the water.
Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her best friend and lives in Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking, biking and enjoy nature. She just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.
Are you a swimmer? I really am not and don’t think I’ve even gotten in a pool for a couple of years!
If you’re a runner, what is your favorite supportive exercise to running? Mine is probably weights or elliptical.
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