Beat the Heat with a Cool Workout!

    Water is one of the best mediums for warm weather exercise that one can choose. The near-weightlessness of the body eliminates most of the impact on the joints allowing some to do activities not comfortable on land. Water also has a calming effect which helps relieve the stresses of everyday life. You can even use it as a moving meditation! Another bonus is that you get a refreshing, energizing workout whether you are an experience swimmer or have never swam a stroke in your life.

    Guidelines for Water Workouts

    · Consult with your health caregiver your exercise plans

    · Wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing

    · Discontinue if you feel tired, lightheaded of begin to experience other discomforts

    · Drink water before, during and after activity

    · Keep elbow and knee joints soft, not locked

    · Breathe comfortably and continuously throughout exercise

    · Generally, water should be above 78 degrees but not exceeding 86 degrees

    · Standing exercises are best performed in chest deep water

    · “Listen to your body and when in doubt, don’t.” Keep exercise in range between light to moderate

    Sample Water Workout

    Ø Begin with 2-3 minutes of head to toe “range of motion” moves:

    head bows, semi-circles and looking over shoulders,

    shoulder and arm circles forward and back

    hip sways and circles

    leg circles from hip joint and ankle circles both directions

    bend and extend legs from knees and hips

    Ø Walk forward then backwards the width of the pool four times

    Ø Now add arm movements:
    Front stroke going forward, backstroke going back
    Breaststroke going forward, pull water in toward you going back
    Butterfly forward, reverse it going back

    Ø Waterjog in place lightly for about 30-60 seconds. If you are more advanced, dog paddle in place.

    Ø Do 10-30 waterjacks then 10-30 front/back alternating lunges

    Ø Jog moderately in place using the following arm combinations:
    Opposite arm push/pull
    Long arms cup hands toward surface, then push water down and back
    Small and large scissors
    Circle forward and back
    Elbow squeezes forward, lift elbows and squeeze shoulder blades back

    Ø Have fun coming up with your own combinations of arms and legs 10-15 minutes

    Ø Walk in a circle 3 times one direction and 3 times the other. For fun, you can add variations to your circle like a side step or grapevine

    Ø Stand sideways next to the side holding pool edge for balance. Keeping body tall, bring outside leg forward and back vigorously 10 times. Turn and repeat with other leg

    Ø With back to wall, hold on to edge behind you over your shoulders or out to the side. Keep back as close to wall as possible. Lift legs and scissor in front of you 10 times. Bring knees in toward chest and away 10 times. Bicycle legs forward for a while then challenge your coordination as you bicycle backwards

    Ø Stand facing and holding wall, legs together with knees slightly bent. As you jump, throw your legs to the sides and together quickly so you land in your starting position. Do a feet together hop between jumps

    Ø Stand facing wall in lunge position pressing back heel down to stretch calf gently 10-20 seconds. Lift back heel toward buttocks as you stand tall to stretch front of thigh 10-20 seconds. Next, place that foot flat on the side of the pool in front of you (only as high as comfortable) and lean slightly forward stretching the back of your thigh 10-20 seconds. Repeat with other leg

    Ø Walking around slowly, clasp hands behind back and lift as high as you can 10-20 seconds. Lace hands in front, press palms away from face 10-20 seconds. Lift laced hands up slowly. Unlace and drop both hands down your back and hold…you got it….10-20 seconds

    Ø Finish your cool workout by doing loosening moves for your neck and shoulder areas. Congratulate yourself for taking such good care of yourself!