I float to the soothing sounds of wooden flutes streaming through the iPod on the pool deck. The song from the birds hidden in the branches of the trees, the accompaniment. A kaleidoscope of color dances under my eyelids, yellow, orange, red and green as my fingers twirl through the cool water. I lay back, a blue noodle under my arms, and clear my mind. Serenity.
As the summer draws to a close here in the northeast, I realize I've been lax in offering fitness tips related to the season. Whether you live north, south, east or west, no matter the length of your summer season, exercising in the water has sensual benefits as well as fitness.
Walk or run through the water, chest deep, and feel its drag against your core. It will force you to pull in your abdominals, but make sure you are standing erect. Go back and forth in the same line to create more resistance, use more muscle and increase your heart rate. Use your arms to push the water away as in a breast-stroke and feel the stretch across your chest. Let your fingers touch behind your back and notice how your shoulder blades pull towards each other. This is a very enjoyable way to gain strength and stamina and improve your posture.
My post, Noodles Aren’t Just for Eating, from 6/19/12, will give you more exercises to do in the water. Many of you are fortunate to live in areas where you can swim practically the entire year, others go indoors for their water exercise once summer is over and others wait patiently for the season to come again. Whichever you are, I hope you’ll use these tips and enjoy a workout that never feels as if you are actually exercising. Don’t let that fool you. The water is one of the best tools you have to improve your level of fitness. And, for those of you who never even put a bathing suit on, I hope these suggestions will give you the impetus to take the plunge. Join me in the water. It’s fun – and extremely beneficial.