I am very excited that Speedo is getting into the realm of aquatic fitness, I am not excited about the high-intensity focus they have chosen. Why is it we are always getting messages that we have to work out till we puke( or drown!) that it is not a real workout unless we are so sore that we can barely walk the next day. It’s not that I am against high-intensity workouts, I am however sad that moderate intensity exercise systems do not receive the same amount of press, even though they can be just as effective and far less damaging to the body. How Can Water be Used for a Great Workout? The pool is a fabulous place to work out, you are using the resistance of the water, you are working three dimensionally, and water helps alleviate stress on muscles and joints. This is why the pool is used so much for rehabilitation purposes and is a great benefit for people with arthritis or other conditions which inhibit their ability to do land-based workouts. But that doesn’t mean the pool is just for the injured or the challenged. The pool is an incredible environment for the fit as well. Thus my appreciation for Speedo getting into aquatic workouts and my concern looking at pictures of people walking weighted at the bottom of the pool. Poolates is Beneficial for Everyone Poolates, like Pilates, focuses on the process of improving. We are not the kick some ass, work until you drop system. We build strength and increase balance and flexibility in a three-dimensional, biomechanically correct and safe manner, building on previous sessions and successes. I can have an 85-year-old balance challenged senior and a 500 hour yogi in the same class and they will both get a great workout and have fun doing it! So as we come into the summer season, jump into the pool, regardless of the workout you enjoy. I am off to Orlando to teach Poolates at Florida Mania. For more information about Poolates visit our website www.poolates.com. Until next time!
Poolates takes the principles of Pilates, control, awareness, concentration, precision, centering, fluidity and beauty of movement into the water. Poolates can be modified to suit any exercise population from the 85-year-old balanced challenged senior to a 500-hour yogini, making all of your class participants immediately successful. Poolates uses the resistance and buoyancy of water to make the core work harder while decreasing stress on the muscles and joints and provides a safe environment to challenge and improve dynamic balance. Sooooo, dynamic balance, I hear you ask, what is that? Although this gets a little involved, these definitions are really important and are a major component of Poolates work. These definitions are from the Gray Institute: Balance The three-dimensional integration of information from all of our body systems during a functional task and using that information to displace our center of gravity. To see how this works, stand up and find your center, once you feel well balanced, close your eyes and feel the difference that it makes! We are going to further refine this into static and the aforementioned dynamic balance. Static balance A state in which a body or object remains reasonably steady while resting on a base that is narrower or smaller relative to its other dimensions. A good example of this would be standing on one leg…….which we do so often in real life right?! Not! Dynamic Balance Successfully displacing one’s center of gravity for the purpose of returning back to where one started or to transfer to another direction…..in other words walking! Which we do all the time! Yet when you go to the Doctors office, and they want to check balance, how do they do it? They have you stand on one leg……essentially testing non-functional movement. Why Is Balance Important? You might ask, why is this important? Balance is one of the top two functions that decline with age and loss of balance is the number one cause of falls in the population that is 55 and up leading to broken bones, hospitalizations and nursing home admissions. Poolates trains both static and dynamic balance with an emphasis on dynamic balance and the three-dimensional integration of the core body muscles using the resistance and buoyancy of water as our Poolates equipment. Wow! That’s a mouthful! So with all of that……Poolates is fun! It is safe; it is the perfect adjunct to your aqua cardio programs, targeting a different market and maximizing the use of your pool. For more information, go to www.poolates.com or shoot an email to Lisa Gibson email@example.com. Till next time!
What Can We Do For Aquatic Exercise? So in the last blog post, I was lamenting the back seat status of aquatics in the exercise world, despite the fact that it may be the best place for many of our deconditioned clients to start coming back to exercise. The question that immediately comes to mind is why? Is it marketing? Is it perception? Is it as Lawrence Biscontini points out our “propensity for intensity” in the exercise world? More to the point, what can we do to bring aquatics to the forefront of the fitness world? Educating the Public About Aquatic Exercise The short answer is.. I don’t know. What can we do as aquatic fitness professionals to educate the public and other professionals about the benefits of water-based exercise in any form, cardio based, mind-body oriented, or post rehabilitation? Clients coming off rehab protocols for heart attacks, obese, and arthritic clients all benefit from being in the pool. I would love to start hearing thoughts and ideas about what you think the perceptions of aquatics are, what the challenges are, how we can change, improve those perceptions, surmount those challenges, and get this work out to more of the people who can benefit from the proven results of movement in the water.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the fastest growing exercise population in the country is 55 and older and in ten years the fastest growing exercise group will be 85 and older. Nearly 40 % (39.5) of middle-aged adults, defined as 40-55, are classified as obese and that an additional 29.1 % of adults were classified as overweight* That is over two-thirds of the adult population of the United States and 40% of the group currently defined as the fastest growing exercise population, not just overweight, obese. The 60 and up group are not far behind, 35.4% are obese. Aquatic Exercise I am not going to get into all the medical considerations and health care costs, I want to talk about something much nearer and dearer to my heart, aquatics, as in why are we still, as a colleague of mine so elegantly put it, still the bastard stepchild of the exercise world. There are major certifying organizations that don’t even offer an aqua track at their conferences. We are taking a deconditioned population, many with medical issues that require active management and slotting them into personal training, cardio classes, group weight lifting, etc. all in the name of improving our participants overall health. Why Aquatic Exercise? WHY are we recommending aqua exercise instead? Six weeks after our middle aged/senior clients have dropped out of the land based program because they are sore, or it’s too hard or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, I love the diversity of exercise modalities available to us today, both for ourselves and our clients, but we should be putting them in the pool! All of the exercise modalities that are available on land are available in the water, with much less risk to our participants and proven strength, cardiac, pulmonary and balance building benefits. If elite athletics rehab in the pool,** why not our at-risk clients? Benefits of Pool Exercises Over Land Exercises We know that water exercise is easier on the joints than exercise on land, a crucial consideration for our overweight clients. It provides 800 times the resistance of air, provides similar strength benefits*** superior pulmonary benefits**** and is excellent cardiovascular exercise. The pool is the single most expensive piece of exercise equipment in any club or assisted living facility and one of the safest. Let’s face it if you fall in the pool, your hair gets wet; it is highly unlikely you will injure yourself, a very real consideration in land-based classes. Pushing Aquatic Exercise into the Forefront There is a wealth of aquatic programming available from Poolates® to Water in Motion® to Hydro YoChi® to AcquaPole®, yet when deconditioned clients present themselves to a club to “lose weight and get in shape” they are not being offered aquatics as a viable path to fitness, even when it is available. How do we change this? This is not a rhetorical question. We know that aquatic exercise is the best bet for many of our clients and should be the exercise of choice. How do we push aquatics to the forefront of the exercise industry? Shoot any ideas over to the Poolates® Facebook page. I am looking forward to hearing from all of you! *Ogden CL. Carrol MD, Kit BK Flegal KM Prevealence of Obesity among Adults United States 2011-2012 NCHS Data brief 131 2013 ** Experience Life *** Len Kravitz Ph.D. JJ Mayo Ph.D. Physiological Effects of Aquatic Exercise **** Andrea Salzman PT MS
Aquatic Exercise for Water Rehabilitation Using water for rehabilitative purposes can be extremely beneficial after suffering from an injury. It can take away all the negative and painful aspects of exercising on dry land. The buoyancy of water helps you exercise and rehabilitate without putting your body through strain. Using water for rehabilitation and exercise gives you the ability to maintain fitness levels and helps you recover from a past injury. You should always consult your doctor before starting any rehabilitation exercises. Walking Doing something as simple as walking in water, chest high Doing something as simple as walking in water, chest high, can help you maintain fitness levels without putting your body through strenuous exercise. Doing so while injured is also ideal to get back into shape after your injury. Walking in water can be helped to treat different spine injuries as well as arthritis. You can also try to walk forwards and backwards for conditioning without putting stress on your joints. If you really want to challenge your body, you can try using weight and even swinging your arms as you walk. The ideal amount of time to spend on this exercise daily is between 20 to 30 minutes. Shoulder Flexion and Abduction To help build range of motion in your shoulders To help build range of motion in your shoulders, you can perform several arm reaches. To do this, have the water reach shoulder level. Then, for flexion, lift your arm out of the water as high as you can, after reaching the top of your range, bring your arms back slowly into the water and repeat. One set should comprise of 10 repetitions. After, for abduction, put your arms to your sides and raise your arms up slowly, having your palms down and away from the body. Bring your arms up to shoulder level, then lower your arms and repeat. This exercise is also ten repetitions for one set. Leg Raises Leg raises can help you strengthen muscles in your lower back Leg raises can help you strengthen muscles in your lower back, hips, and your legs. You should perform this exercise by grasping the side of the pool. To perform this exercise on your right leg, stand in the pool with your left side facing the wall in the pool. After getting into position, use your left hand and hold that side of the pool. When doing this, you should bend your knees slightly. When in position, slowly star swinging your right leg to the side. Once it is at the side, hold it there for a few moments. Lower your leg and then repeat the process. One set is comprised of ten repetitions. Do the same with your other leg. Superman. The superman exercise The superman exercise helps to stretch out your back and shoulder muscles. To begin this exercise, get into the water and make sure it is chest deep. Grasp the side of the pool with both of your hands. Make sure that your feet are planted to the bottom of the pool. After, push your feet from the bottom of the pool slowly. Your body should now be floating on the water. Now, try extending your arms so that the elbows are straightened out. Make sure your legs are also extended. As the name of the exercise indicates, you should resemble Superman at this point. Hold the pose for ten to twenty seconds. After holding the pose, bring yourself back to the original position. One set consists of five repetitions.