Living near water gives access to unique opportunities for a great workout. However, many aren’t so lucky.  Water workouts give you the aerobic workouts of high-impact sports but relief on joints and muscles.  Chiropractic care aims to keep your spine healthy – from neck to lower back; strong muscles and flexibility are key to leading an active healthy lifestyle.  Water acts as a cushion for the body’s weight-bearing joints, reducing stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments. As a result, aquatic workouts are low impact and can greatly reduce the injury and strain common to most land-based exercises.

Take vacation to the next level when you visit a lake or ocean on your summer vacation.  Don’t stay on the sidelines – get in and enjoy!  Dr. Fast, a former competitive waterskier, encourages kids, adults and baby boomers to take part in a water sport this summer for a diverse workout experience.  

Boating: Row boats offer a great abdominal, back and core workout for you and a partner.  Grab a paddle (or two), sit upright with good posture and plant feet against the bottom of the boat.  Get in a pedal boat for a cardio workout that works the leg muscles and provides relief for the back Finally, kayaking offers a lot of resistance and isn’t for a beginner; expect a shoulder, arm, upper and lower back workout.  Be sure not to favor one side over another as you may end up with a cramp.

Pools:  A pool workout is the most versatile “gym” for a summer fitness routine.  Swimming builds muscles and lung capacity; you can easily control the pace or add a kickboard to switch up the routine.  Water aerobics – much like a traditional aerobics class in the gym – increase your heart rate and cushion joints for patients with arthritis and/or sciatica.    

Ocean:  There are times when standing in a strong surf is workout enough, much less surfing, sailing, or scuba diving.  Catch some waves for the ultimate shoulder workout and work your core while maintaining your balance on the board.  Always pay attention to body position in reference to an approaching wave so you can use the momentum to ride and not get taken under.

As the water-loving public becomes more creative, you’ll find hybrid sports in full swing!  In fact, if you live in the Belleville area, check out the wave machine at Splash CIty. You can surf or boogie board in the comfort of your midwest home.  This is great way to engage your core muscles  – much like planking. Using large muscle groups like quads, and abdominals is an effective way to burn calories in a short amount of time.  

And if all else fails . . .

Visit the Back Pain Clinic for a personalized fitness program to promote a healthy neck and spine.