Turn your pool into a gym by doing your workout in the water! Living in New England, I like to embrace the different seasons by changing up my workouts seasonally. In the summer, make use of your (or your local) pool and get your workout in while getting some sun at the same time. Pool workouts are great for many reasons: they are effective at working the muscles, they are easy on the joints, and, they are sweat-less!
I have the luxury of sitting by my pool while writing this post. Luckily it is not too hot yet!
Here are some of the benefits of water fitness:
- Water adds 12-14% more resistance than the resistance felt when you exercise on land.
- Water provides multidirectional resistance. Since your muscles generally work in pairs, the water allows your opposing muscles to work at the same time. It provides a more functional workout.
- The water adds buoyancy, which allows many people to do movements that they may not be able to do on land.
- Water regulates your temperature so you do not overheat.
- Water can be used for rehabilitation when injured, as well as to prevent injuries.
The Aquatic Exercise Association states that your body, when immersed up to the chest, bears 25-30% of your total body weight. Immersed up to your waist, it bears 50% of your body weight. The more immersed in the water you are, the less impact it has on your joints, however, the more immersed in the water, the less control you may have on your movements.
You do not need a lot of equipment. You can get a good cardio workout just swimming with a noodle or kick board. If you want to get a full body workout, you may want to purchase some water weights, maybe a water running belt, or even water gloves.
The structure of your water workout should be:
- Warm up (3-5 minutes)
- Warm up stretch (3-5 minutes)
- Aerobic workout
- Warm up (3-5 minutes)
- Increased intensity (5-10 minutes)
- Cool down (3-5 minutes)
- Strength workout (10-20 minutes)
- Cool down stretch (3-5 minutes)
Most water equipment comes with instructions on exercises you can do with the equipment. If you want to see a sample water workout, stay tuned for my next episode of “Get Healthy with Holly” for the video of a full water workout.
Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.