TAKE THE PLUNGE
Diabetic Living Australia|January-February 2022
Boost your fitness and keep your cool with easy water workouts for every level

What could be better than jumping into a pool on a warm day? Working out in water is not only a great way to get fit and stay cool, it also helps to speed your metabolism and burn off kilojoules.

And the benefits don’t stop there. “Exercising in water eliminates the effect of gravity, especially for older adults,” says exercise physiologist Christine Armarego. “It reduces the impact on your joints and provides resistance and cardiovascular exercise at the same time.”

So put on your bathers, head to the pool and give these easy water workouts a go.

THE STANDING WORKOUT

Duration: 30 minutes.

Equipment required: Foam dumbbells or arm floats; pool noodle and kickboard.

Why it works: “A standing workout allows for specific areas of the body to be exercised, much like in a gym,” says Armarego. ‘The foam dumbbells or pool noodle act like weights to create resistance.”

Keep in mind: ‘The faster you move in water, the harder it is to exercise, so start slowly and work your way up as you grow more familiar with the exercises,” advises Armarego.

SIDE LEG RAISE Stand side-on to the pool wall in waist-deep water, with your hand on the wall for support. Slowly raise your outer leg out to the side (to a comfortable height). Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times, then switch to the other leg.

BACK LEG RAISE Stand facing the pool wall in waist-deep water, with your hands on the wall for support. Slowly raise your leg backwards (to a comfortable height). Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times, then switch to the other leg.

KNEE LIFT Stand side-on to the pool wall in waist-deep water, with your hand on the wall for support. Slowly raise your outer knee upwards (to a comfortable height). Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. For added resistance, you can hold the pool noodle under your foot when pushing your knee downwards. Repeat 10-15 times, then switch to the other leg.

WALL PRESS Stand at arm’s length from the wall in thigh-deep water, feet together, your hands shoulder-width apart on the wall. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself towards the wall as if doing a push-up. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.

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