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Fitness notes

Aqua Cycling

by Jonathan Kevin Castillo

We take our bicycles to a lot of places, to the mall, to the beach, up and down the mountain, or even cross countries. But have you ever tried taking it inside a pool? Well, there’s this new bike exercise called Aqua Cycling. It first appeared in Italy and was used in rehabilitation by a physical therapist. Offered by Aqua, a boutique fitness club in TribeCa Studio, aqua cycling is now literally making waves in New York City.

Basically, aqua cycling is similar to the popular “spin class”. The difference is that it is done in water. A waterproof bicycle is set in a four-foot deep swimming pool. The water is leveled to the cyclist’s chest. Once in water, cyclists begin to paddle against water resistance. It involves a lot of splashing and zero gravity-like spinning with an instructor to guide cyclist through the different cycling phases.

What’s the payoff? Burning 800 calories in an hour – yes, 800! And that is without feeling sore the next day. Hey, that’s a huge deal for a lot of people. Overall routine is low-impact so it won’t be a problem to those who complain of joint pains or to those who are suffering from other sports injuries. To those who are squeamish of heat and sweat, cycling in water won’t be a problem.

Aqua offers classes for women and Saturday classes for men. It is definitely getting a lot of attention because of how less difficult and how easy it is at the same time, I must repeat, burning 800 calories without the day-after sores. It’s been considered to have a very therapeutic atmosphere as well especially with dimmed lights and candles all around the pool area.

But nothing has without some criticisms. So far, other people have pointed out that with all the splashing people couldn’t hear the instructor or the background music. But really, that’s a small thing to point out. Come on, it’s biking in water. Just how cool is that?

The activity is said to be quite popular in Europe as well and with all the attention it is getting, hopefully it comes to Asia, and here in Philippines. We figured it’s going to be an interesting thing to try, so keep an eye out if you’re interested.

Gadgets also help us monitor our health. But with all of these devices coming out and becoming too available, workouts are starting to be a bit complicated. Instead of just strapping on your sportswear, we spend still a few minutes to double check if our devices are charged, if the Bluetooth is on, and a few more other preparations. Sometimes it’s best to just go back to plain old basics, the gym.

In a regular gym often times when we work out, we often push ourselves to the limit and staying long hours believing that consistency is equal to a healthier lifestyle. But what if you don’t have the time to stay longert in the gym? Does that mean you sacrifice your workout? Not anymore. There is a new priciple that says “Quit training harder; train smarter”. This is the tagline used when people talk about FitWall.

Fitwall is an efficient and complete workout that targets all the muscles at once. It incorporates many muscles with just a single movement, burning calories and increasing muscle strength three time faster. It is based on “Vertical traning” where in exercise movements done from the horizontal plane are shifted to the vertical plane. Since horizontal support and stabilizations are removed, the body will then be forced to rely on all the other muscles. This cuts the usual workout time of one hour to just about 10 to 15 minutes. Remember, a single movement requires a lot of muslce group involvement so it promises improvement of core, balance and coordination in no time.

Fitwall is like a metallic shelf similar to a bookcase. The metal racks are used to grab onto or be stepped on. Athletes are made to workout scaling up and down the Fitwall in various movements. There are fourteen trainings, which they call fundamentals, from perfect pull-ups to in & out ab hops.

As mentioned previously, Fitwall believes in the core principle that their training program activates every single muscle in the body, from large ones to smaller, specialized ones. The routine also decompresses the body’s joints. This lessens injuries and minimizes impact on growth plates.

In the Fitwall Studio located in Cheyenne, Wyomming, sessions are not completely none-tech. iPad devices are mounted on top of the Fitwall to monitor conditions like heart rate and burned calories.

It is sad to say that these type of activity hasn’t made touchdown in the country yet. But maybe with enough interest, we can experience this revolutionary training sooner than we think. So far, the Fitwall and its training programs have gathered a lot of enthusiastic members and is expanding quite rapidly. Let’s cross our fingers that they reach us soon so we could experience what the entire hype is really about.

Water Treadmill
A pool is no longer just a pool. The cool relaxation of being underwater has become treatment for many people. For some, it eases off the soreness of aching muscles and for other it helps them to sleep at night. We’ve also been tossing all sorts of stuff into the water, if you thought underwater biking was quite unusual, well hold onto your seats as we tell you about the water treadmill.

Yes, a treadmill that lets you walk or jog indoors in water. This type of activity is actually more focused on recovery treatments than the actual muscle grinding experience. This is for people who prefer to exercise slow and easy, at the same time, be in the water and have fun.

The thing about the underwater treadmill is that it is just not about people who want to lose weight and build stamina. It is more for people trying to recover from surgeries or inuries. Since the feeling in the water makes our body significantly lighter, it’s easier for recovering people to support themselves for a slow and easy recovery and rebuilding of their muscles.

Of course not only people recovering from an accident or surgery gain benefit from this. But also people with mobility problems, those who are obese, aging adults and senior citizens, as the water treatment prevents falls.

Basically, calorie-burning is the same as land based running, but being underwater reduces toint stress and the day-after soreness.