We often think of swimming as a recreational activity this time of year, but if you are looking for something to shake up your normal exercise routine, look no further than the nearest pool.
Pool workouts are excellent for young athletes, older adults, those with arthritis, pregnant women or anyone who has had a recent injury that makes weight-bearing exercise difficult or uncomfortable.
The occasional pool workout is also a great break from your normal routine, and can help your body to recover from a hard workout the day before while still getting some cardiovascular training in. With some of the record-setting temperatures that we have had in the last few weeks, it is also a nice way to beat the heat and stay fit at the same time.
There are a few different ways to go about getting a good workout in the pool. You could simply do some laps if you are an adept swimmer, but if you are more like me, you might want to try “pool running,” which may also be called “aqua jogging.” This exercise involves the use of a foam waistband and some foam dumbbells, held in each hand as you cruise the deep end, that create some resistance when you try to keep them submerged under water.
With the foam waistband on, enter the deep end of the pool with dumbbell in each hand. Stay perpendicular to the bottom of the pool and start “running;” keep your back straight and pump your arms and legs as if you were actually running on a solid surface. You will have to work pretty hard to actually move any distance, which may be a little frustrating at first.
If possible, swim the width of the deep end a couple of times, avoiding the shallow end where your feet can touch the bottom.
If you are not used working out in the pool, it may feel strange to you, but the harder you work to move across the pool, the more calories you are burning without bearing weight on your legs, ankles and feet.
Check out the Abington YMCA if you don’t already know of a pool that you can use. Many places such as the YMCA will have the necessary equipment for you to use during your workout, which will save you from having to buy it.