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Take a Dip continued...

Both strength training (using the water as resistance) and cardiovascular conditioning (swimming, walking, jogging or treading) can be done in the water. Classes will break it down for you, but if you want to go it alone, it's simple. Alternate swimming, walking, or jogging laps in the pool with leg lifts, bicep curls, squats, or chest presses. (You can use flotation weights or just do the exercises against the resistance of the water, depending on your level of conditioning). In other words, move your gym workout to the water.

"I encourage individuals to try classes offered in the water," says Calgaro. Besides the benefits of joint cushioning, it's another way to add variety and alleviate boredom.

And although water workouts are low-impact, that doesn't mean they're not intense. "They can be full-body, tough workouts," she says.

Marvelous Machines

Of course, treadmills, stationary bicycles, and elliptical machines are great for getting a cardiovascular workout when you don't want to brave the elements. And they don't have to be boring, either.

Pino and Calgaro both recommend doing a circuit-type workout, alternating work on any cardiovascular machine with some strength exercises.

"Warm up with about 2 to 3 minutes on the treadmill," says Pino, "then get off and do a set of 10 to 15 bicep curls. Then go back to the treadmill."

This kind of workout keeps you from getting bored and keeps the heart rate up, he says.

Calgaro recommends a workout that alternates 5 minutes on the elliptical machine, two strength moves, and 1 minute of recovery, repeated six times. For example, alternate 5 minutes on the elliptical machine with 15 assisted squats and 15 crunches or 15 standing lunges. (All these strength moves work several major muscle groups at the same time.)

"It shocks the system and spices up the workout," she says.

If you're usually an outdoor exerciser and want to maintain your fitness level, Pino says, choose indoor activities that mimic your outdoor sports. For example, if you usually walk or ride your bike in a hilly neighborhood, choose the hill profile on the elliptical machine or stationary bicycle.

Or, you might decide to do something entirely different when you move your workout inside.

"Changing activities will allow your body to recover from the hard summer and fall programs but still challenge you," Pino says.

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