Because of its very low impact to the body, an aquatic exercise program is ideal for soldiers who are overweight and those who are limited due to painful joints, weak muscles, or profiles. The body's buoyancy helps minimize injuries to the joints of the lower legs and feet. It exercises the whole body without jarring the bones and muscles. Leaders can tailor the variety and intensity of the exercises to the needs of all the soldiers in the unit.
If you’re under the impression that water aerobics exercises are for the weak, the frail-bodied, or for little old ladies with flower caps, you’re sadly mistaken. Not only do water exercises tone muscle, increase flexibility, and challenge your cardiovascular system, they also assist in shedding unwanted pounds (because, that’s the point, right?). And, because water produces variable resistance based on the amount of force and speed applied to any action, aquatic exercise routines can be formulated to suit competitive athletes and body-builders – not to mention your grandparents.
This chapter describes obstacle courses as well as rifle drills, log drills, and aquatic exercises. These are not designed to develop specific components of physical fitness. Commanders should use them to add variety to their PT programs and to help soldiers develop motor fitness including speed, agility, coordination, and related skills and abilities. Many of these activities also give soldiers the chance to plan strategy, make split-second decisions, learn teamwork, and demonstrate leadership.
SOURCES: Jane Katz, EdD, associate professor of health andphysical education, City College of New York, New York; author, and .Julie See, president, Aquatic Exercise Association, Nokomis, Fla.
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