Aqua Fun Academy
Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Relax

This week’s swimming tip Tuesday is on Relaxing, one the first and fundamental steps in swimming. Before we float, before we kick it’s really important that we understand how to relax in the water. Often beginners hold their breath scrunching up their eyes and mouth putting, unnecessary stress on the face. It is important to relax, especially our facial muscles while breathing. When putting our faces into the water, try to the leave the mouth slightly open, as we do this, we can allow air to escape in the form of bubbles.Swimming Tip Tuesday

To blow bubbles, there are a couple neat tricks. One of which is pretending to blow out all of the birthday candles underwater. This will allow us to exhale quickly but grasp the general idea. Next we want to make a relaxed fish face, exhaling slowly to the count of 3. Another trick to encourage relaxed breathing is to either hum, or make a motor boat sound with your lips, this will help make very evident bubbles as well as allow the swimmer to learn to control how quickly they release their breath. These tricks help us develop initially while we are stationary.

To get moving, the key to breathing while swimming is timing. Ensuring that whenever we would exhale normally, our face should be in the water, similarly when we need to breathe in we must learn how to bring our faces out of the water. Key to this is not to panic about being in the water, it is just the medium used to travel around in. This is why relaxing is especially important; think of a piece of bread, when it is flat it will float on the surface of the water. If it is scrunched into a ball, it will sink. Allowing ourselves to relax on the water, we keep our body open and our breathing easy. Don’t believe me? Try breathing deeply while crunched into a very tight ball – it is very uncomfortable.

A little cool tid-bit about breathing in the water, it allows us to exercise more of our lung capacity.

The water is just another place for us to explore our physical capabilities.

Remember always keep your mouth slightly open while breathing!Swimming Tip Tuesday

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Swimming Fit Friday: Keeping Warm

Swimming Fit Friday: Keeping Warm

Todays’ Swimming Fit Friday we will discuss ways to keep warm and active in the water

If you do not have the luxury of swimming in Aqua Fun Academy’s warm water pools understanding how to keep warm in water is still a useful tip. Keeping warm is a key component of Water Yoga and Aquatic Fitness.

Today’s Swimming Fit Friday word of the day is Thermoregulation!            Thermoregulation is a process that allows your body to maintain its core internal temperature.

When exercising on land we start off at our regular core body temperature, as we increase our work load the amount of heat we give off increases. In the water, we start a bit below our core body temperature, to keep the body working effectively we’ve got to move to bring our body temperature back up.

Quick tip pre-pool workout is to take a quick cool shower. Aside from the obvious sanitary reasons for showering before entering a pool, this step helps us prep for another change in temperature. It’s important when entering the water to do the exact opposite of what we want to do when the water feels cool. Which if you’re anything like myself my instinct is to become as small as possible and try to keep all my warmth in. This is actually counterproductive to keeping warm.

Pro tip: move your body in big movements!

The importance of movement allows us to warm up. To warm up quickly we want to move the large muscles in our body, such as quadriceps, and hamstrings in the legs. This can be accomplishswimming fit fridayed by doing a Cross Country ski in the water. But Onieka, what is a Cross Country ski? This move requires complete engagement from head to toe. To start put one foot forward and the other back as if you’re mid-stride on a walk. Place your arms in opposition to your legs. Thus if your right leg is in front, than your left arm will also be in front, and vice versa. Keeping our posture, shoulders resting in line with our hips. Pretend to ski forwards, keeping your arms and legs in opposition, to travel forwards. This is but one variation of the ski, it can be paired with changes in direction, or rebounds (also known as jumps) to make the movement more challenging, and focus more on strength building than the development of our flexibility or range of motion in the water.

Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Morning Stretching

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Morning Stretching

Throwback Thursday to morning stretching with counsellor David and camper Andrew. Looks like they’re getting ready for a fun game of frisbee. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. We make a habit of stretching with our campers several times a day.

Many of us are guilty of neglecting stretching as a part of our regular routine. Though as we age it becomes increasingly important to stretch in our daily lives. Stretching dependent on the duration and intensity can be it’s own separate work out. For example Yoga is highly focused on learning ones body but also on stretching ones body and increasing the general range of motion. Our range of motion is composed of two elements; how well we can rotate and twist around a joint, secondly, how easily are these movements accomplished. The more frequently we stretch our range of motion increases. In the water it is relatively easier to work on expanding our ROM (range of motion).

The fun factor is integral when teaching kids about stretching. If a child thinks stretching is boring, she will likely lose interest in doing it. Try having kids mimic animals while they stretch. This practice is especially effective with young children. For example, children can practice the bear crawl by walking on their hands and feet. Encourage kids to walk forward, backward and sideways. The bear crawl stretches and strengthens the hamstrings, calves and back. Children can also stretch their shoulders by hooking their fingers together and letting their arms hang down and swing like an elephant’s trunk. To make these stretches more fun, have kids mimic animal sounds.

Now, if only the weather will cooperate!

Summer camp has started, but you can still register for future weeks! Don’t have a camp for your kids yet? Join us for a week full of outdoor and indoor sports, arts and crafts, and daily swimming! Learn more here.

🏊🙊🙉🙈

July 26, 2017

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Butterfly Arms

Today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday:

Bring your arms up barely above the water and out to the sides.

This advanced swimming tip Tuesday is going to focus on the coordination of the arms during butterfly. This article will also focus on the importance of muscular balance and flexibility. The stroke itself requires a lot of upper body strength. Good upper body strength combined with the proper technique enables the swimmer to have explosive power. This application of power is required to pull the swimmer in an upward and forward motion. The arms circling forward resembling the image of a butterfly. Hence the name of this advanced stroke.

It is important to develop all the muscles in the shoulder and rotator cuff as pulling your arms forcefully around in a circular motion may cause discomfort if the muscles are unbalanced.

Exercises that strengthen the three deltoid muscles can be accomplished by both land and water exercises. Water exercises such as: water yoga or aquafit.

Further more it is equally as important to work on maintaining flexibility for rotation of the arms to prevent injury. Stretching in general is a great way to remain limber and avoid injury. When muscles and tendons become tight we are more prone exercising with improper form.

Lastly it is important to coordination when to flex and relax the arm muscles. Flexing throughout the entirety of the movement can also bring about the opportunity for injury. For example: many exercises have a phase of intensity which is when we aim to generate power. Flexing during this phase allows us to accomplish that. However if remain flexed we are sustaining a load and putting unnecessary pressure on our antagonist muscles.

In regards to executing the stroke; when pushing the arms down into the water is to try and draw the shape of a key hole. This shape allows the swimmer to generate both forward and upward momentum.

Another important factor lies when the arms are coming up out of the water. Ideally you want the back of the hands to meet in front of the face. This sets us up for drawing the key hole shape once the arms have reentered the water.

Remember exercise smart, focus on building balanced muscles and swim on. That’s all until our next swimming tip Tuesday.

Bring your arms up barely above the water and out to the sides

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday – Diving and lift off

Todays’ Swimming Tip Tuesday, we are going to discuss diving and the importance of using our legs!

When diving it is important to bend at the knees to provide proper lift off.

A common mistake amongst new divers happens when we forget to use our legs correctly, especially during a standing dive. Trying to generate force without bending at the knees creates the opportunity to enter the water chest first instead of hands first. What those of us familiar with diving blunders call a “belly flop”. To avoid this painful lesson, here are some tips about how to position ourselves to enter the water hands first.

From the start push your feet down into the ground preparing to jump, pointing where you want to enter the water with your hands. Remember to keep your hands together, throughout the glide phase of your dive.

  • Place feet side by side

If this is uncomfortable, one may spread their feet no wider than shoulder width apart. This marks our take off point, make sure ones’ toes are as close to the edge of the pool as possible.

  • Bend at the knees till about mid-squat position

This position allows the swimmer to prepare for proper execution of the dive. Furthermore, holding this position we will want to push off with our toes pointed towards our take off point.

  • Bend at the hips bringing the upper body close to the legs.

By lowering the body, we give ourselves a closer point of entrance into the water. We also allow the swimmer to achieve the arch necessary for entering the water hands first.

Remember when moving from the take off point, we want to aim our body out. As to travel forwards, as well as upwards. The image we want to form in our mind is an half moon.

Best of Luck, and Happy Diving!Swimming Tip Tuesday

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Swimming Fit Friday: Water Yoga

Today’s Swimming Fit Friday is all about Water Yoga

Why Water Yoga? Well as the old saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Exercising in the water as a stand alone has a multitude of benefits for the body.

  • Reduced stress impact on joints
  • Increased blood flow due to hydro-static properties
  • Water resistance assist in balanced muscle development
  • Water buoyancy assist in maintaining as well as increasing range of motion

These are just a few of the benefits that come with working in water, when coupled with Yoga we introduce a broader list of benefits, that also incorporates a positive effect on the individuals’ mental health.

  • Reduces mental tension
  • Improves cognitive functions
  • Regulation of sleep schedule
Swimming Fit Friday

Tree Pose

Please refer to the link below for the article on Oneness and Buoyancy:

http://aquafunacademy.ca/swimming-fit-friday-oneness-buoyancy/

When combining water and yoga together, we can enhance the following benefits:

  • Postural strength
  • Muscular endurance
  • Weight distribution*

When thinking of our weight, often it is simplified to how much one weighs. Contrary to this method of thinking, the distribution of weight can be broken down into and various elements. Visceral fat (around the organs) or subcutaneous fat (underneath the skin), musculature, and water weight; all of these are important. Through the movements of Yoga combined with water and performed correctly, can improve overall weight distribution.

Focusing on the overall number of our cumulative weight distracts us from achieving our fitness goals. Through Water Yoga, we can,

  • Boosts Metabolism
  • Promote and maintain muscle growth
  • Better balance and coordination
  • maintain and increase flexibility
  • Promote brain elasticity by engaging in new movements*

Working in water forces us to adjust the way we move in it. In order to properly isolate muscle groups, and safely utilize the resistance of water. Learning these new techniques and movements strengthens the motor centers in the brain, promoting brain elasticity.

aquafit-slider-2Well that just about wraps up  today’s Swimming Fit Friday. Why Water Yoga -not convinced? Seeing is believing, but why not try a class?

Check out Aqua Fun Academy’s Health and Fitness section in the link below:

http://aquafunacademy.ca/health-fitness/

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Back Crawl

In Today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday: A breath is taken every time an arm completes a full cycle. Try breathing in as one arm passes your ear and exhale as the other arm passes.

Breathing, something we do every single day of our lives. Breathing in passion, and breathing out results! Breathing, as it is something we do involuntarily should be easy enough to do in the water! Integrating our movements to sync up with our breathing requires a little more thought than expected. Though while swimming on our back a swimmer has the added advantage that their face is out of the water for the duration of the stroke. So, when do we breathe? In any exercise, we want to exhale on the effort and inhale during the recovery phase.

In back crawl the effort is when the arm is re-entering the water, during the push phase. While the recovery phase is when the water enters the air, or exits the water, both of these elements are what compose a complete cycle of back crawl arms. Understanding the basic mechanics of the stroke it should be easy to break down when to breathe.

However, when back crawl is done both arms move juxtaposed. Meaning one arm is always in the opposite phase to the other. To get around this conundrum, the swimmer can focus on one arms cycle and co-ordinate their breathing in time with that arm. Our dominant arm can vary from sport to sport, so an easy way to find out which of the two is a swimmers’ dominant arm, is to take note of which arm the swimmer start their stroke with. When the swimmers dominant arm is out of the water they must remember to inhale, similarly when the swimmers dominant arm is in the water, they must remember to exhale.Swimming Tip Tuesday

Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Water Volleyball

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Water Volleyball

Throwback Thursday to summer camp water activities with Head Counsellors Sayon and Hannah. After spending the mornings playing sports outside and breaking a sweat in the gym, what better way to cool off the afternoon in than in our swimming pool! Our afternoon consists of one hour of swimming lessons, followed by an hour of free play in the pool. By request, counsellors can set up in-water games like water volleyball (pictured in photo), water polo, capture the flag, etc… But most of the time, kids just want to do cannonballs!

Summer starts in two weeks! Don’t have a camp for your kids yet? Join us for a week full of outdoor and indoor sports, arts and crafts, and daily swimming! Learn more here: http://ow.ly/DITp30c1kvr

🏊🙊🙉🙈

July 26, 2016

 

About Water Volleyball:

Water volleyball is a team sport derived from volleyball in which the games are played in water. The sport is played in the United States, Europe and South America.

Water volleyball is mostly played in swimming pools. The court used varies from 3 X 2m to 6 X 5m in dimensions. A net that runs across the width of the court divides it into two equal halves. Different types of balls are used for playing, but the most suitable is a beach ball which is at least 28cm in diameter.

The sport is played at both recreational and competitive level. For recreational play, a team can have for 1 to 4 players, but in competitions each team should have four players.

Similar to that of volleyball, each play starts with a serve, followed by back and forth returns, until one team scores a point. However, the game play and scoring system works similar to that of table-tennis, where each team alternately gets to serve twice regardless of who scores the point, and the team to first reach 11 is the winner of the set.

There are some variations in, court size, the number of players per team, and the total number of sets played in a match, depending on which country the game is being played at.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday – Benefits of Swimming

Today’s SwimTip Tuesday we’re going to discuss one of the benefits of swimming.

As we age the stress of impact on the joints and muscles can become increasingly difficult to bear. Due to the properties of water such buoyancy; we can alleviate a lot of the stress impact has on our bodies over all.

When we swim, doing strokes such as front crawl, or back crawl, we employ the use of streamlining & buoyancy to work with the water to travel. The water acts as an assist and allows us to travel further distances without overuse of various muscle groups, which in turn reduces stress.

When we water-run, in shallow water, we utilize the quality of resistance. The resistance of the water slows down our movement; as a result the feet reach the ground at a reduced speed, reducing overall impact on the joints. When we do deep-water running, the stress of impact is negligible, as there is no floor to make contact with.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Running with the buoyancy belt. Deep Water Running

Due to the hydrostatic qualities of water an added benefit to is that the water often can act as an upward massage, allowing increase blood flow. Working against the harmful effects of impact. Waters hydrostatic pressure promotes good cardiovascular health. In simpler words, you can increase your heart rate while taking some of the impact stress off of the body.

If swimming is not your exercise of choice, try deep-water running, or shallow water running. If one is to do deep-water running employ the use of a buoyancy belt (this can also be used in the shallow end). This belt helps one maintain good posture while running as well as is a floating assist. If you find that the buoyancy belt is not sufficient to keep one at a comfortable height in the water, one can either substitute or use a noodle in conjunction. In which case one would straddle the noodle like a bicycle. Be aware of ones posture while using the noodle as a flotation device. Leaning too far forward or backward will engage different muscles and create some back strain if sustained for long durations of time. Posture checks are important during all forms of exercise!

Natation Conseil Mardi

Natation Conseil Mardi: Vous pouvez augmenter votre rythme cardiaque tout en prenant une partie de l’impact des stress de l’organisme.

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Swimming Fit Friday – The Importance of Stretching

Today’s Swimming Fit Friday Post we will discuss the importance of stretching.

Many of us are guilty of neglecting stretching as a part of our regular routine. Though as we age it becomes increasingly important to stretch in our daily lives. Stretching dependent on the duration and intensity can be it’s own separate work out. For example Yoga is highly focused on learning ones body but also on stretching ones body and increasing the general range of motion. Our range of motion is composed of two elements; how well we can rotate and twist around a joint, secondly, how easily are these movements accomplished. The more frequently we stretch our range of motion increases. In the water it is relatively easier to work on expanding our ROM (range of motion).

I’m going to give some pointers on a helpful stretch one can do over time to help alleviate stiffness and reduce pain, which one can do in the water, as well as on land. Though the effectiveness of these movements is greater within the water.

A stretch for those of us with tight hips, or pain radiating down the outer most portion of the thigh the following stretch can help.

The equipment needed for this stretch is a pool noodle. Though it can be done without if one has a very strong scull.Swimming Fit Friday

  • Bringing the noodle underneath ones arms and keeping good posture
  • Place your right foot over top of your left knee.
  • Just above the ankle as well as to the left of your knee apply pressure and ease yourself into a seated position.

This stretch will open up the hips. If one has good balance within the water, try to pick your foot closest to the ground off of the floor – putting the body into suspend. This will further allow you to open up your hips and stretch the IT band down the side of the leg. Hold for up to 15-30 seconds at a time, on each side. If one is doing this as a beginner on land do so while sitting on the edge of a chair to Swimming Fit Fridaymaintain proper form.Swimming Fit Friday