Good Health Choices - - Be Energized -

If you like to stay fit in the wa­ter, learn to swim like a mer­maid. It’s pop­u­lar in the US, Canada and Aus­tralia – and with a mer­maid-style fin* you can ex­er­cise like the myth­i­cal sea crea­ture too.

Mermaiding uses a monofin – a large fin that pro­pels swim­mers through the wa­ter faster than nor­mal. It’s best used by com­pe­tent swim­mers and if you’re al­ready good at but­ter­fly stroke, you will find mermaiding comes more nat­u­rally. The ex­er­cise strength­ens core mus­cles and in­creases flex­i­bil­ity in the shoul­ders, spine and hips.

“You swim un­der the wa­ter – hold your breath, swim un­der the wa­ter for three or four kicks, take a breath, and then go un­der the wa­ter again. You can move on your back, side­ways or do fast or slow kicks. You use your en­tire body and start the move with the up­per back, then the lower back and then move through the hips and legs,” ex­plains teacher Michaela Werner. “As you slip un­der the wa­ter it’s quiet, so mermaiding is quite med­i­ta­tive and re­lax­ing.”

* Wa­ter Safety New Zealand says chil­dren shouldn’t use mer­maid tails with­out adult su­per­vi­sion or in mov­ing wa­ter.

Longer, deeper stretches and greater flex­i­bil­ity

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