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One of the best places to be on a hot summer day is in a pool, lake or the ocean. They’re also great places to take your workouts this time of the year. Not only will you beat the heat, but your muscles will be challenged in ways not possible on land. “When working out on land, resistance is usually one dimensional, coming from gravity or the force of a machine,” says Melissa Layne, an assistant professor at University of North Georgia and author of Water Exercise.  “In the water, resistance is applied to a movement from every direction.”  The buoyancy of water also reduces pressure on joints so high-intensity moves like jumps that may be uncomfortable on land can now be done safely. The result: You can burn more calories and firm up faster while staying cool.

You can do most of these workouts in any waist- to chest-deep body of water. A pool is the safest and allows you to hold onto the side if needed for balance.

week

Walk: 3 laps (or about 5 minutes) in waist- to chest-deep water with arms swinging in the water to warm up.

Exercises: Do 20-30 reps (or 10-15 each side) of each with 1-2 minutes water walking in between each.

Jumping jacks – Stand with feet together, arms at sides. Jump feet wide apart, raising arms to just below the surface of the water. Jump feet together, lowering arms. Repeat.

Cross country ski – Stand with your right foot in front of your left, your left arm in front of you and your right arm behind you. Jump up and switch your arms and legs, landing with your left foot and right arm in front. Repeat.

Twists – Stand with feet together, arms at sides. Jump and twist your lower body to the right, landing with your knees and feet pointing diagonally to the right. Jump and twist to the left so your knees and feet are pointing diagonally to the left when you land. Repeat.

Swim: 3 laps (any stroke you like) at a comfortable pace.

Walk/jog: 2 laps walking and 1 lap jogging (or about 5 minutes) in waist- to chest-deep water with arms swinging in the water to warm up.

Exercises: Repeat the moves from Week 1 and add the following. Do 20-30 reps (or 10-15 each side) of each with 1-2 minutes water walking in between each.

Side bend with noodle —Stand with feet together and hold a noodle in your right hand with your arms at your sides. Bend at your waist to the right, pressing the noodle down. Slowly straighten back up. Repeat for recommended number of reps, then switch arms.

Arm push down with noodle —Stand with feet slightly apart and hold a noodle with your arms extended in front of you. Press the noodle down under water, lowering it toward your thighs. Slowly raise your arms. Repeat.

Leg pushdown with noodle —Stand on top of a noodle. Engage your core and control the noodle as you bend your knees toward your chest. Slowly straighten your legs, bringing the noodle back down to the pool floor. Repeat. For an easier modification, do the exercise with one foot at a time.

Swim: 6 laps (alternating any two strokes you like) at a comfortable pace.

Walk/jog: 1 lap walking and 2 laps jogging (or about 5 minutes) in waist- to chest-deep water with arms swinging in the water to warm up.

Exercises: Repeat the noodle moves from Week 2 and add the following. Do 20-30 reps (or 10-15 each side) of each with 1-2 minutes water walking in between each.

Tuck jump —Stand with feet together, arms at sides. Jump and bring your knees up toward your chest, grasping your knees with your hands. Release and extend your legs as you land. Repeat.

Pendulum —Stand on your right leg with your left leg out to the side and arms toward your right leg. Hop off your right foot, raising that leg out to the side and landing on your left leg as your arms swing to the left. Repeat.

Rocking horse —Stand with feet together, arms at sides. Hop forward onto your right foot, raising your left leg behind you and bringing your arms forward as if you’re hugging a tree. Hop back onto your left foot, raising your right leg in front of you and opening up your arms wide. Repeat for recommended number of reps, then switch sides, hopping forward with your left leg.

Swim: 6 laps (alternating any two or three strokes you like) at a moderate pace.

Jog: 3 laps (or about 5 minutes) in waist- to chest-deep water with arms swinging in the water to warm up.

Exercises: Repeat moves from Week 3 and add the following. Do 10-20 reps (or 10-15 each side) of each with 1-2 minutes water walking in between each.

Tuck & straddle —With a noodle wrapped around your back, float with your knees tucked into your chest. Keeping your legs together, extend them straight out in front of you. Then, open them as wide as comfortable. Bring your legs back together and then tuck them in toward your chest. Repeat.

Side shoot through —With a noodle wrapped around your back, float with your knees tucked into your chest. Lean slightly toward the right and extend your legs out to the left, keeping your legs together.

Plank —Hold a noodle underwater with your arms extended down in front of you. Walk your feet back until your body is in a diagonal line. Hold for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, and then do 2 more reps.

Swim: 6 laps (alternating any two or three strokes you like) moderate pace on the first length of each lap, then swim back a little faster.

STRETCHES

Hold each for 15-30 seconds and do 2-4 reps so each stretch is held for a total of 60 seconds. Hold onto the side of the pool if needed.

Quad stretch—Bend your right knee raising your foot up toward your buttocks. If able, grasp your right with your right hand for a deeper stretch. Hold. Repeat with your left leg.

Chest stretch—Clasp your hands together behind your back and gently raise your arms until you feel a stretch across the front of your chest. Hold.

Hip stretch—Place your right foot across your left thigh and sit back until you feel a stretch in your right hip. Hold. Repeat with your left leg.

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