I love water activities, whether it's swimming,water aerobics, walking by the ocean, or taking a canoe down a river. It's calming and exhilarating all at the same time. Summer will be here soon with people heading outdoors for exercise and fun. Have you thought about taking your activity to the water? If you sweat, no one will notice! There lots of ways you can enjoy the splashy spray of refreshing water. There are so many you can enjoy. Here are just a few:
Swimming uses most muscles in your body if you utilize the different swim strokes: freestyle, breast stroke, back stroke, elementary back stroke,sidestroke, butterfly, and trudgeon (blend of front craw with side stroke). The faster strokes are fantastic aerobic work while the resting strokes are calming and you can work on breath control. Calorie burn: 340-700 calories in an hour session.
You can usually find a water aerobics class at a YMCA or community recreation center with a pool. It isn't just for the elderly or those with physical limitations! Water can blast a crazy number of calories! If you don't swim, try shallow water exercise. Your feet are firmly set on the floor with your face out of the water. 205-450 for a 45 minute class. Deep water aerobics requires a flotation belt made for the activity. This really challenges your core and your heart! Calorie burn: 400-500 for a 1 hour class.
This water art form looks effortless, but is extremely challenging for body control, breath control, and fitness level. One hour of this beauty: 500-600 calories.
Natural Bodies of Water
This water activity is better with at least one other person. All boating is mostly upper body work, utilizing forarm extensors, biceps, triceps, deltoids, lats, traps, and core. Canoeing would be great on a day your legs need their rest from a workout. Canoeing for 1 hour yields a 170-750 calories burned, depending on your effort.
This is similar to canoeing in it's work on upper body. Your legs help with balance and shift of the kayak. Your core is challenged a lot more for balancing your boat. Calories burned: 270.
This partner to swimming is a bit more leisurely because most people like to see the underwater life forms along the way. The nice part is you can breathe a bit more normally than regular swimming. The difficulty is knowing how to purge your mask of water that might leak in, so have a swim instructor teach you how. Calories burned: 272.
Scuba is more challenging than most people realize. The oxygen tanks weigh around 70 pounds. It's difficult on land, but not so much in the water. You also must take scuba training because of several skills needed to stay safe and how to signal distress. One hour = 470 calories burned.
If you go on vacation to Hawaii or California where surfing rules the waves, you will want to try this out! Surfing requires all muscles in the body from paddling, to climbing on, to balance. This is more strengthening that cardio. Calories burned: 140-170.
Image: mine from Hawaii 2016 trip location Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.
The workout is similar to surfing except you paddle with your arms prone on the board, or with a paddle standing up. This is a killer for your core, arms, and legs! Calories spent in one hour: 120-150.
If you noticed, the higher the calorie burn, the more aerobic, the lower the calorie burn, the greater the strengthening. Never underestimate water power. Go, make a splash!