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Friday, August 26, 2011

Working Out with My Water Babies

Water Workouts are a great way to enjoy a low-impact (easy on the joints) workout.  Working out with your children is even better!  I'm on a quest to ensure that my children maintain their active lifestyles even though it takes extra effort on my part to get myself motivated.  Research has shown that families who work together on health and fitness have a greater level of success than those who do not have this common goal. 

I was a quiet, introverted child who was perfectly content to read books and play in my room.  As a child, I did enjoy being outside with my siblings and friends for bike rides around the neighborhood, a trip to the park, or playground activities.  However, my activity level did not equal that of my daughter and two sons.  Their capacity for energetic play rivals that of Olympic athletes.  They also have an amazing ability to forego sleep in favor of movement 'til they drop!

I enjoyed an increase in my athleticism during my twenties and early thirties during the height of the Aerobics Fitness craze.  I went to conferences, attended classes, and engaged in conversations with seasoned Fitness Instructors who mentored me as I became an AFAA Certified Aerobics Instructor, Fitness Counselor, and Personal Trainer.  I was at my best weight and Fitness level when I trained 6 days a week and maintained a daily regimen of workouts as I exercised with my clients.  Somewhere over the past few years, I have drastically veered off course.

I am determined to return to a healthier way of living through improved awareness of nutrition and increased exercise.  A weak ankle from previous injuries has created a need for low impact activities that will be easy on the joints.  My prior experience teaching Water Aerobics has become a useful resource during our family visits to the pool.  My daughter learned that she can swim laps and successfully covered the entire length of the pool at our apartment complex last night.  We tossed a beach ball to each other that required us to reach up, to the sides, and swim to the ball when out of reach.  I showed the kids how to do Jumping Jacks in the pool and "run" laps in the 3ft.-4ft. end of the pool.  Here are a few more ideas that are excellent for increasing cardiovascular capacity and improving muscle tone! 

Water Workout 
  1. Hold on to the side of the pool and kick legs. (Great for warming up)
  2. Have a "race" across the width of the pool in the shallow end.  Do several races between yourself and each child.  They'll love the interaction and individual competition with Mom or Dad. 
  3. Sing and do the "twist" as you bend knees, bounce to each side,  then come back to standing position.  This will really work your waist and thighs. Be care not to "twist" at the ankles.  Lift your heels and watch your positioning.
  4. Do Jumping Jacks
  5. Run "laps" in the shallow end of the pool. 
  6. Hold on to the side of the pool and do leg lifts straight out away from your body (outer thigh), Then bring leg back and cross over (inner thigh).  The water provides excellent resistance.  Do this several times for each leg. 
  7. Have fun and just move.  Activities that you do in other exercise classes can be adapted for use in the water. 
Let me know if you need more ideas.  I would love to hear about your workout strategies and how you're incorporating exercise into your family's daily routine.  The most important thing is to just get started.  It's never too late to start over.  Have a Wonderful Day!