Photo Credit: Mike Kemp/blend images/getty images
Stand Up PaddleBoard Yoga
It’s literally Pilates and yoga on a paddleboard, on water. “Working out on a SUP utilizes your entire body and requires more balance and stability. It's an intensive workout that makes calorie-burning fun. It’s also less frustrating, given the serene setting on the water,” says Misty Lister, SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard) fitness instructor at Wild Dunes Resort, Charleston, SC. If you fall, you get a cool dip. It’s kind of a win-win.
Aqua Zumba combines traditional water fitness (e.g. jumping jacks) with Zumba’s Latin-based dance moves and music. Zumba uses jumps, including one-legged jumps, which put tremendous impact on joints if done on land. In general, working out in water produces less impact, says Shirley Archer, water fitness expert. “In the pool, you can work on jumps without concern of falling or slipping and with much less stress on your spine and joints,” says Archer. Water also helps improve core control since the constant turbulence around you (caused by other zumba-ers) challenges your ability to maintain your balance. Aqua Zumba appeals to those intimidated by the fast tempo of traditional Zumba but still want a serious workout. Search on IDEA Fitness Connect to find a verified certified water fitness instructors in your area.
If you love indoor cycling but dislike the sweat, try biking underwater. Yes, bikes -- more specifically, Hydrorider Aquabikes that are made of rust-proof lightweight aluminum -- immersed in water. “Unlike indoor based cycling frames, the Hydrorider’s resistance is determined by four, adjustable paddle wheels. The further the paddle is pulled out, the greater the surface volume of water taken in and, hence, the greater the resistance.” Increasing RPMs (revolutions per minute) with acceleration also adds resistance. Less stress on joints makes underwater biking suitable for those with fibromyalgia, arthritis or people recovering from injuries. Classes can be found in NYC.
If you have a fear of falling off a treadmill, this underwater version may be your solution. The buoyancy of water eases the effects of gravity, resulting in 50 to 70 percent off the impact of a land workout, says Jana Lowell, an LA based fitness pro and author of Noodles for Dumbbells—Water Exercise, Weight Management & More. “In addition, hydrostatic pressure (which increases with the depth of water) helps eliminate swelling and circulatory problems.” A workout at the same intensity on land would result in a heart rate that is 13 to 17 points higher. Pregnant women may particularly benefit as balance becomes more difficult as the pregnancy advances, says Lowell. (Check with your doctor first.) You’ll find these at your local physical therapy or rehab centers.
Kicking and jumping can do a number on joints in traditional kickboxing. Add water and you get the same benefits without the achy joints. “Aqua Kickboxing differs from kickboxing in a studio because the water provides both resistance and buoyancy,” says Archer. “This slows movements, improves muscular endurance and strength training, reduces stress on joints and lowers impact from jumps or bouncing.” Archer compares training in water to “liquid weight training,” as the water provides the resistance. The more you are able to push against water, the stronger the resistance. To find aquatic kickboxing in your neighborhood, check out your local YMCA or other community centers or health clubs that offer water fitness programs.
(Video not available but we imagine it’s something this fun):
Jumping from rooftop to rooftop or running up and down walls makes traditional Parkour more than a little dangerous for mere mortals. Add water, however, and you have a built-in safety net. Aqua Parkour is currently featured exclusively at the Waldorf Astoria Spa at El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico. Parkour involves moving in ways where you use your body and surrounding objects to navigate obstacles; practitioners develop balance, endurance, power and agility performing movement sequences of varying intensities and levels of challenge. “Use of the total pool environment is maximized: the pool walls, multi-level areas, bottom and steps constitute the playground for a workout session that is suitable for participants of all ages,” says Jonathan Torres, a spokesman for the spa.