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To me, there is something ever so alluring about water. Put me in a swimming pool, take me to a lake, or bring me to the beach, it is my instant nirvana when my eyes see a body of H20. So it will come as no surprise that I also love to play in the water, even being past 40. Swimming, floating, splashing, chilling, snorkeling … I simply love it all! This also includes boating of all types and its associated activities, such as tubing, waterskiing and wakeboarding.

I remember the first time I went waterskiing. It was down in Florida. I slipped on the vest, slid my feet into the skis and sat patiently at the end of the dock waiting for the boat that would pull me to be ready. I had snowed ski for years. How hard could waterskiing be? When it came time to go, the boat gently took off and I instantly began gliding across the water. All my years of snow skiing came into play as I picked up waterskiing as if I had done it for years. What a great rush!

Last summer was the first time I tried wakeboarding. This time I was at the Jersey Shore. Again I slipped on a vest, but this time I stood on the back of the boat on the water trying different stances. Should I lead with my left foot or right? I thought back to my skateboarding days and knew the left lead felt more natural. When it was my turn, I jumped off the back of the boat with the board hinged to my feet and drifting away while adjusting my rope. I waved to the driver and he slowly placed the boat into gear. What a refreshing surprise when I popped right up out of the water, during my very first attempt, and began swishing side to side as the boat pulled away.

These two water sports are an amazing feel. Since waterskiing and wakeboarding are so much fun, one can easily forget how they also make great workout activities. One of the biggest benefits is that it is a complete body workout, exerting just about every major muscle group from your head to toe, especially once you begin holding yourself up with the taut rope which also improves your balance and coordination. Your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluteal muscles will all be worked in addition to your abductor and adductor muscles from all of the lateral moves across the water.

Looking for a new fat burner? Well, these warm weather activities are also an excellent means to burning calories and fat. A 150-pound person can easily lose over 400 calories an hour. A person with more body mass even more. Waterskiing and wakeboarding will also boost your metabolism and lift your mood … that is as long as you remain up on your skis or board!

Waterskiing and wakeboarding are also excellent ways to stretch and strengthen your leg muscles, particularly in the thighs and around the knees, as well as help with joint mobility. Your endurance will increase, the longer you stay up and more frequent the trips, as will your stamina. These sports also help to build your overall strength and agility, develop long lean muscles, and tone your entire torso.

What is there to loose in trying these water workouts? Even if you do lose your balance and fall in, you are left with treading water and swimming, two more excellent exercises. It’s a win-win situation all around. So the next time you have the opportunity to water ski or wakeboard, give it a try. You might find two more sports to add to your beloved list of activities just like I did.

Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.