As we enter the time of year that we make New Year’s resolutions, it is once again that time that we tell ourselves that we will begin and stick to an exercise program. It is sometimes tough to stick to New Year’s resolutions. Several things that have helped me are:
- Write your resolutions down on paper and review them periodically.
- Make resolutions that can be attained. For example, if you want to lose weight, set a goal that you can reach, not a goal that will be next to impossible to reach.
- Set monthly goals. This will give you 12 opportunities to succeed, and if you fail, you will have another chance the next month to succeed.
One of my resolutions annually is to maintain my exercise program. Many exercise enthusiasts are now turning to aquatic exercise. Aquatic exercise is an activity that millions of people are engaging in and it is gaining in popularity. It is easy on your knee joints and back, and has been used in sports rehabilitation and physical rehabilitation for years, but it has now entered the mainstream. It is used not only for rehabilitation, but offers other benefits as well; increases lung capacity, burns calories, tones and strengthens muscles, and the list goes on.
When we think of aquatic exercise, we tend to think of the following of lap swimming, water walking or jogging, or water aerobics. Although these are excellent forms of exercise, aquatic exercise equipment that was once available only for professional gyms and fitness centers has now become available for pool owners. Some of the unique equipment available is as follows:
Buoyancy belts – Buoyancy belts allow you to exercise in deep water allowing your body to be suspended while keeping your head above water.
Water weights – Water weights are great for resistance training to improve muscle development. They are usually constructed of foam or plastic with cushioned handgrips that are long lasting, even when used in the chemically treated water of a swimming pool.
Swimming tether (also called swim cords) – Swim jets have been installed in pools for years for resistance swimming. If your pool is not equipped with these swim jets, there is now an alternative. A bungee style line is secured around your ankle or waist and extends to the side of the pool where it is tied to a ladder, rope anchors, etc. They allow you to swim in place for cardiovascular conditioning, weight loss and increased endurance.
Exercise paddles – Exercise paddles simulate rowing movements which tones and strengthens your upper body.
Kickboards – Kickboards have been around for years but are still one the most common aquatic exercise aids. They are great for any age and any level of swimmer and are lightweight and inexpensive.
Regardless of your New Year’s Resolutions—I hope that you and your loved ones have a happy and healthy 2012!