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Patricia Rust

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Why Water Exercise Works For Me

Posted: 09/04/11 11:20 PM ET

Water works on me To bring my heart serenity. It melts me weightless. -Patricia Rust

There's much that can be said about water -- we're made mostly of it. It gives life, for without it, life cannot exist. It can be more expensive than gasoline, and it's beautiful as ice, snow, and liquid. When I think of those huge hunks of blue glaciers at the poles, I am awed. All animals and insects seem to drink it and oh, how we take it for granted!

Did you know that when you exercise in water, your body only carries 10 percent of its usual weight? How marvelous for those with injuries because they can walk in water so much more easily as part of their healing process. Yes, water is healing, too. We wash our wounds with it and water is a great part of the mending process for physical therapy.

But now, in addition to aqua therapy, there is circuit training in the pool, aerobic training, strength training and some other fun ways to exercise so that you don't even realize that you're even working out -- all while in water. It's just that much fun!

First, you can put on booties if the pool is rough on the bottom because you may jog to warm up the body. But instead of getting out of breath, you simply warm up and may then be ready for jumping jacks and other fun ways to warm up the limbs then the ever-popular core.

Each teacher has favorite equipment, and at The Golden Door, they have it all! I slipped on some webbed gloves that had me looking more duck that human, but they added resistance when my hands pulled through the water in a series of arm and upper body strengthening exercises.

When the gloves came off, my fitness trainer, Suzanne Browne, had us use a ball that we had to hold deep under water and then rotate in circles for some serious bicep and triceps work. The reward comes next when you get to sit on the ball and try to keep your balance. Yes, you feel like a kid, but at this pampered playground, you get to be one for a week as you groom your insides and outside in order to carry your best self into the world. This is why I am sharing what they teach so you can learn to be your best for the world! (It's at the "core" of their fundamental mission here.)

Another fun toy is the pool noodle you can straddle and paddle around on and has you looking something like a seahorse. They even have pool noodles with handles! I may be a clown in the water and love to swim like a seal but my favorite is reclining back doing a Busby Berkeley/Esther Williams human flower circle in unison with the other pool-ercisers, looking straight out of a scene from an MGM musical!

Once upon a time, I knew Esther Williams because of her son, Ben Gage, who is still my friend. We all shared swimming in common. Okay -- so he was my boyfriend -- but he is now a happily married family man and the family is wonderful. The feeling of being able of be like a fish with gills and enjoying the underwater environment for a slice of your day is simply irresistible. The equipment is affordable, the company lots of fun, you have only to come up with a pool!

Let me know how you do!

 
 
 

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