Water exercise: A joint decision
Corley Roberts | Apr 30, 2012, 11:46 a.m.
What’s a girl like you doing in a joint like this?
We’re pretty much stuck with the joints we have, but we don’t have to live with the pain of moving in them. Water exercise is a great alternative to land exercise if you live with joint pain brought on by certain conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis. The buoyancy of water makes a safe and ideal environment for relieving joint pain and stiffness.
There is an added benefit to exercising in warm water if you can find a heated pool. Warm water raises your body temperature, causing your blood vessels to dilate and increase circulation. Exercising in water supports joints and, therefore, allows free movement, and the water acts as resistance to help build muscle strength.
Another benefit of water exercise is weight loss, just in case you’re one of the bazillions of people who want to shed a pound or two. If you weigh 160 pounds and exercise in water for one hour, you could expect to burn approximately 402 calories! If you weigh 200 pounds, you could expect to burn 501 calories! If you remember from last month’s feature article on weight management, a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. If you burn 500 calories a day, or consume 500 calories less per day for seven days, you could lose a pound of fat in a week! Although specific calorie expenditures vary widely depending on the exercise and intensity level, give it your best effort, and you’ll feel better. Also, check in with your healthcare provider for medical clearance if you have not exercised before.
Now, if you are the daring type and want a little more challenge, water running may be an option. Water running or jogging usually takes place in the deep end of the pool. You mimic the movements you make running on land in order to move across the length or width of the pool. This is a great calorie-burning activity; however, please know how to swim before you go to the deep end!
Many athletes use water running to recuperate from injuries sustained in their sport. Even if your ‘sport’ is putting your bathing suit on in under five minutes without pulling a muscle, water exercise can help you do that. Maybe.
One important note to mention is that water running does not build bone strength because it is a low-impact exercise, and the water supports your weight. Building bone strength requires weight-bearing activity. MyFitScript advises that you supplement water running with weight-lifting exercises. Resistance or weight training builds lean muscle mass, strengthens bones and increases your metabolism level to help burn calories. Go to www.myfitscript.com this month on May 18th, 2012 and receive your free water exercise program. Visit the MyFitScript store for a strength-training program that best fits your needs and compliments your water program. Each month, we give away free exercise programs for one day only, so keep checking in with us. Check out the ‘Resources’ section of the website for education and tools to assist you with your programs.
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