Looking for a new, fun way to get fit this summer? Let’s face it, it’s too hot to go running outside, and running isn’t that fun anyway. Instead of pounding the pavement or swinging weights in the gym, hit the pool to get in shape. Sure, it may sound like more of a leisure activity than an intense workout, but swimming has proven to be an effective way to get fit, lose weight and improve your health. So, slip on your swimsuit, tighten up your goggles and jump in with these three pool workouts.
Benefits of Pool Fitness Exercises
Swimming is a great form of exercise, whatever your age and athletic ability. Regular swimming can boost your mood and keep your weight under control while reducing the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke. For people with chronic illness, like arthritis, for example, swimming helps to improve the affected joints and is a method of exercise that doesn’t worsen the symptoms. Water-based exercises can also improve bone health in postmenopausal women and women who swim while pregnant can also benefit from the activity, mentally and physically, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And, swimming might just make you a better exerciser in general. The CDC reports that people who regularly take part in aquatic exercise work out more often on land.
Laps - Without the Track
With a pool noodle or kickboard in hand, practice your kicking and propel yourself from end to end of your pool. There are a few different types of methods of kicks for you to try, including flutter, dolphin and the breaststroke. This activity is great for beginners dipping their toe into the world of aquatic exercise and it feels more like fun than a hardcore calorie-burning workout.
Beach Ball Workout
OK, so maybe aquatic exercise is all fun and games. For this exercise, you’ll need an inflated beach ball, the bigger the ball, the harder the workout — keep that in mind. Begin by floating facedown, arms stretched out in front of you with the beach ball in your hands, with your feet together and legs extended. While keeping your arms straight, draw in the ball as fast as you can into your hips. This movement will push you above the water, allowing you to take a breath. Don’t worry, beginners, you can keep your head above water during your first few sets of reps. When the ball reaches your thigh area, bend at the elbows and bring it back up to the surface, returning to the start position. Try it out for 30 seconds. This pool workout targets your abs, triceps, back and shoulders.
Pool Push Ups
Use your pool stairs for this in-water exercise. Begin in the plank position, on the steps in the shallow end of your pool. Place your hands on the top step and your feet and toes on the floor of the pool. At a slow pace, bend your elbows down as far as you can manage without getting your face wet. Straighten out your elbows and repeat. You can do two to three sets of 15 push ups, increasing your reps as you master the move.