By Ronda Brodsky, MS
As a former athlete with a lot of joint and tendon issues, the aquatic environment is the safest and most beneficial way for me to stay fit. I easily become bored with a fitness routine if it just seems monotonous. The aquatic environment is welcoming and invigorating. I was first introduced to the HYDRORIDER® Aquabike at an AEA International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC) and I instantly fell in love. This is a way for me to ride a bike in a safe environment. I can ride using all the benefits of the water, including a lot less stress on my joints.
I am not a cyclist, but I have loved adding the aquatic bike to my workouts. The aquatic bike has added to the excitement of training in the water. The safety provided by the pool offers me more freedom to ride and incorporate other techniques. For example, in the water I have more freedom of movement to focus on upper body activities while pedaling. In my opinion, this non-impact exercise option is one of the best formats for developing cardio and muscular endurance.
Pedaling in the water, you can enjoy your surroundings – something I appreciate in summer months at an outdoor pool – without worrying about traffic or other road conditions. I can use my time on the aquatic bike to focus on a hard workout, or I can choose to dial down the intensity and reflect on other things. Music is a powerful motivator, so adding music to the ride can help reach intended goals for each workout session. The faster the music, the faster I tend to pedal – so choose your music based upon your fitness levels and your training goals.
Riding in the water is much like land-based cycling except you use the water to your advantage. The water helps to keep the body cool during exercise, especially if you remain properly hydrated. For optimal hydration, drink water before, during and after your ride. If you are like me, it is easy to forget to drink while exercising in the pool, but you want to stay mindful that the water surrounding your body does not keep your internal body hydrated.
The HYDRORIDER Aquabike is easy to adjust for your height and preferred resistance level, and the pedaling motion is very smooth, making your ride enjoyable. And although similar to riding on land, you will notice that the water creates a completely different feel. The water’s resistance provides both support and resistance to all movements. As with any exercise routine, allow recovery time within the workout, (e.g., if completing intervals of high intensity activity) as well as between workouts. Without adequate recovery, you will not see as much progression in your training.
I am looking forward to continuing this ride so I can keep myself in shape both physically and mentally. Physically, it feels so good to ride in the water. Mentally, I can clear my mind and focus on what is needed. We all need to take care of ourselves, and I have found aquatic cycling one way that I can take time for “me” and enjoy the feel of training as hard as I want or need that day. If you have not had a chance to ride the waves, plan to attend IAFC 2022 https://aeawave.org/IAFC to learn more about this exciting training option everyone can enjoy.
Ronda Brodsky is a Physical Education and Health Teacher at a charter school in Detroit, Michigan, with a master’s degree in physical education. Ronda is an American Red Cross CPR, first aid, and water safety instructor. She has over 40 years in the aquatic industry as an AEA certified professional and a past presenter at IAFC. Ronda is a frequent contributor to Akwa magazine, AEA’s member publication, and the author of Aquatastic: Swimming Made Simple. Ronda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org