The Daily Examiner - - WEEKEND - KARLA GIL­BERT Cham­pion iron­woman and ocean ath­lete Karla Gil­bert is an ac­cred­ited nutri­tion and health coach and cer­ti­fied Level III and IV Fit­ness Trainer, with cer­tifi­cates in Child Nutri­tion and Nutri­tion. She is the au­thor of ebook, Naked Habits. REA

How for­tu­nate are we as a coun­try to be able to en­joy the great out­doors while adapt­ing our sum­mer work­outs to suit the warmer con­di­tions? I cer­tainly don’t go many days with­out dip­ping my toes in the wa­ter.

Not just a way to keep your cool, wa­ter has great work­out ben­e­fits.

Firstly, it pro­vides great re­sis­tance from all an­gles while work­ing op­pos­ing mus­cle groups, for ex­am­ple, swim­ming or wa­ter aer­o­bics.

An­other plus is its buoy­ancy. The sup­port of wa­ter as­sists in re­duc­ing your body weight load (bliss) there­fore sig­nif­i­cantly less­en­ing the amount of stress through the joints, bones and mus­cles — this should be mu­sic to your ears if you suf­fer from in­juries or are preg­nant.

Wa­ter work­outs help en­gage our core and pos­tural mus­cles, which tend to be­come ne­glected as we age or with other forms of iso­la­tion ex­er­cises.

You may not re­alise, but any time you’re sub­merged in wa­ter (whether it’s in the ocean or pool), the forces of the wa­ter on your body cause an in­crease in hy­dro­static pres­sure to cre­ate an amaz­ing move­ment of the lym­phatic sys­tem.

This is why swim­ming, deep­wa­ter run­ning or aqua aer­o­bics is the ideal form of ex­er­cise for peo­ple with com­pro­mised lym­phatic sys­tems.

There are so many cool ways to stay fit in the wa­ter. The most ob­vi­ous is to swim laps at your lo­cal pool. Aim to build up your work­out to be at least 30-40 min­utes, then al­ter your ses­sions to in­clude some­thing like 15 x 100m on 2 min­utes or 20 x 50m on 1 minute (or a time that leaves you breath­less).

Kick­ing with a kick­board is one of the best butt and thigh work­outs. Once you feel you have mas­tered the tech­nique of keep­ing your hips high and ac­tu­ally mov­ing for­ward, again add in sets while work­ing off the clock. Try adding a set of fins to work a whole set of smaller mus­cle groups.

You can even try us­ing a snorkel and kick with fins with­out a board, which is gen­tler on your shoul­ders and back and al­lows your body to re­main in cor­rect pos­tural align­ment.

Us­ing a swim­ming snorkel while swim­ming is also a great op­tion for suf­fer­ers of a stiff neck or back as you are re­duc­ing the amount of ro­ta­tion through the stroke.

Deep­wa­ter run­ning is not only some­thing ath­letes can do if in­jury rears its ugly head, but also some­thing you can hook into in your own back­yard pool.

Pop your­self in a buoy­ancy vest or stick a foam noo­dle un­der your armpits and run on the spot in the deeper sec­tion of the pool.

Wear a watch and do in­ter­vals of 1 minute hard, 30 sec­onds easy for 20-30 min­utes.

Jump in while the kids are muck­ing about and you can play life­guard at the same time.

Next, take your cross train­ing to the beach and in­clude wad­ing through the surf with high knees, which I’m sure will re­mind you of mus­cles you have pos­si­bly for­got­ten ex­ist.

Mix it up with a set of soft sand dune runs/walks with a cool off in the ocean be­tween sets.

Ad­di­tion­ally, there is surf­ing, stand-up pad­dle board­ing, wind­surf­ing or kayak­ing.

Keep in mind that, although you may be kept cool in the wa­ter, you are still sweat­ing con­sid­er­ably so re­mem­ber to stay hy­drated (with wa­ter, not Christ­mas cheer).

When sum­mer ends, you don’t have to stop in­clud­ing wa­ter fit­ness in your rou­tine. Find an in­door pool or wear a wet­suit to keep those en­dor­phin hits flow­ing.

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