Before you let your Summer exercise routine fizzle out in favour of cold weather hibernation, remember that you’ll feel like you’re back to square one when the weather warms up again if you do so. Thankfully, a hot tub is the best way to stay warm for Fall while maintaining your fitness! Because it's low-impact and easily tailored to your fitness level, anyone can benefit from water exercise, regardless of age or agility. So check out these four calisthenic exercises that you can do in your tub and let the swirling water both soothe and challenge your muscles.
Toe Pushes: To strengthen: calf muscles
Push your toes against the floor of your Beachcomber to flex your calves. Begin by holding the position for a few seconds and repeat 3-5 times. At your own pace, you can work your way up to holding the position for 10-15 seconds.
Bicycle Kicks: To strengthen: abdominals and legs
Position yourself firmly perched on the edge of your hot tub seat and hold onto the nearby ledge for support. Lift both of your legs out of the water and cycle rapidly as if you were riding an invisible bicycle. Begin with three sets of bicycle kicks for approximately 30 seconds each. As you increase core strength and cardiovascular endurance, you can up the number of sets that you do.
Arm Criss Cross To strengthen: forearms and core
Sit up straight in your seat with your abdominals engaged to assist with balance. Hold both arms out straight in front of you with your palms facing downwards. Quickly cross your arms over one another, alternating which one goes on top of the other. Do three sets for roughly 30 seconds each, and increase over time as you build strength. To further intensify this exercise, consider trying it with small dumbbells as well.
Side Leg Extensions To strengthen: legs and abdominals/obliques
Sit back deeply in your seat and stabilize yourself with surrounding ledges if you need extra support. Stretch your legs out in front of you, take a couple deep belly breaths, and slowly spread them as far apart as is comfortable yet challenging. Keep your core tight and hold the position for 30 seconds, repeating for 3-5 sets.
Since your hot tub is a place of soothing comfort, you might feel skeptical about the intensity of your workout in it, but research shows otherwise. The resistance of the water makes your workout stimulating despite the context fooling you into thinking that it feels easier than if you were running on pavement. In fact, the water challenges muscles that are more difficult to engage on land. Also, because water lessens the effects of gravity, you're able to move your joints through a wider range of motion, which improves flexibility. And even your lungs benefit, because the water pressure makes them work harder than they would on land.
But don’t take our word for it – try these exercises out for yourself!