Water is one of the absolute best fitness tools because the water in your swimming pool provides a natural resistance. This strengthens muscles and boosts cardio intensity. The natural buoyancy of the water supports some of your weight, making your workout easier on joints and reducing the chances of injury. Plus, it’s easier to stay cool in the pool when exercising!
Exercising in the pool is also therapeutic. Water exercise if safe for pregnant women, the elderly, people with injuries and disabilities, and the very obese. Using the swimming pool for exercise is a low impact way to work out with a low risk of injury. Many people are not able to work out on land, but the swimming pool provides the perfect low-impact place to exercise whether it’s swimming laps, using water weights or doing leg lifts.
Here are some additional health benefits from exercising in the pool:
- The average thirty minute pool workout burns approximately 300 calories. Do it for at least three-four days a week, and you’ll reap the benefits.
- Build cardio endurance in the pool. The blood moves through the body at a faster rate to warm it up when swimming in cool water. When coupled with an aerobic program the result is an improved cardiovascular performance.
- Pool workouts are encouraged because exercising in the pool is easy on the joints and muscles. If you like to lift weights, try pool exercise on your off
- The pool provides a soft environment for workouts. There is no worry of falling. The water supports your body weight so you won’t feel as tired as you would from a land workout. You’ll also gain flexibility because you can achieve a wider range of motion form the water’s buoyancy, and your body isn’t hampered by gravity.
- Pool workouts are great stress relievers because exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good. If you work out in warmer water, you’ll have an additional massage and calming result.
- Water workouts are less stressful on the body.
- Pool workouts are effective for weight loss, cardio and strength training.
Here are some ideas for swimming pool exercises:
- Swim laps
- Tread water
- Arm exercises using water weights (foam barbells that create resistance under water). Start with your arms at your sides. Grip the bars of the water weights with your palms facing up. Raise your forearms to the level of the water, keeping your elbows close to your body and your wrists straight. Then turn the barbells over so that the palms of your hands face the bottom of the pool. Push your hands down until your arms are straight again. Repeat 12 to 15 times or until you’re fatigued.
- Resistance exercise using a kickboard: Standing up straight with your legs comfortably apart, tighten your abdominal muscles. Extend your right arm and hold the kickboard on each end. Keeping your left elbow close to your body, move the kickboard toward the center of your body. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times or until you’re fatigued. Then extend your left arm and repeat the exercise on the other side.
- Leg exercise using a noodle: To strengthen your leg muscles, tie a water noodle into a knot around your foot or water shoe. Stand with your back to the side of the pool in waist-high water, placing your arms on the edge of the pool for stability. Straighten your leg in front of you, then flex your knee to about a 90-degree position. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times or until you’re fatigued. Tie the water noodle into a knot around your other foot or water shoe and repeat with the other leg.
Photo via Visualhunt