(NC)—Swimming pools are ideal for exercising, improving joint and muscle flexibility, improving cardio–respiratory performance and increasing strength and endurance. What makes aquatic exercise so beneficial to our bodies is that it is low impact, that is, the water cushions the impact of our movements, so there is less stress on bones and joints than jogging or even walking.
Like any exercise routine, an aquatic workout should begin with a short warm– up period with stretching exercises to make your muscles more flexible. It should be followed by a five minute 'cool down' or resting period to allow your muscles to relax and heart rate to return to normal.
There are a variety of workouts you can do in the water – depending on what part of your body you want to exercise. For back and abdominal muscles, walking across the pool in waist–deep water helps tone muscles.
To tone the hips, face the pool wall and stand with your legs together, two feet away from the pool wall with your arms stretched out touching the top of the pool wall. Move one outstretched leg behind you as high as possible and then repeat with the other leg.
As little as 30 minutes a day, three days a week will make a dramatic improvement in your level of physical fitness and outlook on life.
More information on pools and spas can be found online at www.poolcouncil.ca or toll–free at 1–800–879–7066.
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