Safer, more fun training in the water


Dot Skofronik 


Do you already long for the cool mornings of the fall? Summer training can be made more productive, more fun and safer if carried out in an water aerobics class. The resistance, support and compression of water provides a great medium for strengthening and stretching ourselves. Aerobic conditioning can be intense or more gentle depending on the desired outcome. There are many resistance tools that make the workout ever more changing and challenging. A better sense of balance and posture is achieved by stabilizing trunk muscles, while upper body strength training is emphasized in a short session using free weights while standing in the pool. Good form is emphasized throughout all routines.

Most runners, and non-runners alike, could pay more attention to the five components of physical fitness. Cushioned, low-impact cardiovascular training can be accomplished through movements in shallow or deep water. Variations in intensity and resistance, speed, range of motion and energy output individualize a workout. Flotation devices are used for deep water training. Because of the unique environment, pushing to the limit is easier in the water and recovery is faster because of the cooling effect on the body.

Drills such as jumping, leaping, sprinting, kicking and bounding can be intense due to drag and resistance or accelerated movements in the water. Muscular endurance and strength can be targeted with or without equipment. Variations are endless. Workouts with hand held free weights are enjoyable in the water. As a bonus, increased flexibility is achieved because of the additional support of water while stretching all muscle groups. Stretching is an essential part of every class.

The last component of fitness is body composition. It is desirable to build and maintain a reasonable level of muscle tissue; water exercisers find that working against the three dimensional resistance of the water builds muscle density.

Now for the good part: it’s always cool, the City of Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department has a convenient morning and evening session four days a week, it’s inexpensive and you don’t have to know how to swim. It will give you the best stretch routine of your running career. Join the group for a cross training program that is complimentary to a runner’s goals. You may end up stronger and more flexible than any time in your athletic life. Classes are one hour. No special equipment is required of the student. Run over and start crosstraining!

For more information call the Aquatics Office 850-891-3981 or 850-891-3950. Presently the morning class meets at 8:30 AM and the evening class meets at 5:30 PM at the Levy Park pool.