Guest Post: Kaitlin Gardner, editor An Apple Per Day
The family just finished Thanksgiving dinner, and boy, does that pecan pie look great. It’s easy to justify having a slice – after all, it’s the holidays! I’ve done that routine many times, and have decided to give myself a break on the New Year’s resolutions. I’ll fight the holiday weight gain ahead of time, using aqua aerobics.
Get in a water workout. During the holidays, the weather can be bad, so exercising outdoors can be hit or miss. The treadmill at the gym – just makes me roll my eyes. But my love for water workouts never goes away, so there’s a lot better chance I’ll do a workout if I jump in the water. I can head to a kick boxing class if I’m in a mood for a vigorous workout, or if I really want to burn some calories, just swing my hips in a fun Zumba class. The point is, I’m working out, which gives me a chance to burn some calories. Here are some great articles with more information about water workouts:
Burn calories in the water. I heard that competitive runners use aqua jogging to stay in shape while training for marathons, and it really got my attention. I had a new appreciation for the water as a calorie burner. It is said that the average person who weighs around 180 pounds will burn 178 calories in a half hour water workout. Since I usually work out for an hour, I smiled, because I knew I would really be working against holiday weight gain.
It’s all about maintenance. I’m not likely to begin a marathon training program just before the holidays. So my goal is not to get in fantastic shape, but maintain my condition and not lose ground. The worst option would be to get no exercise – that would guarantee adding extra pounds over the holidays. Let’s face it, the holidays are just a season for indulging, so I’ll most likely take that slice of pecan pie, and sample those cookies at the party. But if I don’t exercise, the result will be eat now, pay later. I would have to work a lot harder after the holidays to get back in shape. If I keep working out all through the holidays, I don’t pay for it as much later.
The cardio blast. During the holidays, sometimes I may take a class, but for getting the most cardio benefit, my standby is aqua jogging. Our gym has an indoor pool, so I go when the lap lanes are open. I wear old sneakers to protect my feet, and put a water bottle at the end of the lane, because I will be sweating. I begin moving up and down the lane in my best running posture. I was really surprised by how solid a workout option this provides. The first time I tried it I was breathing hard and feeling my legs after a short time – that’s when I learned to appreciate the resistance provided by water. It added a component that I didn’t get on land. Also, because of the buoyancy of the water, my body feels very light, which puts less stress on it. My heart rate is lower just being in the water, due to the lessened impact of gravity and because of lower water temperatures.
Yes, I’ll probably have that pecan pie, but smile while I’m eating it, because I’ve used my aqua aerobics to minimize the impact of the holidays.
A little bit about Kaitlin:
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.