Swimsuit season will be here before you know it! If you have a swimming pool in your backyard you are so much closer to getting in shape and being healthier than your friends and family who don’t have access to their own pool!
You know that your pool is ideal for relaxation and entertaining, but it is also a great way to get in shape. Swimming is fun for the whole family, you won’t break a sweat AND it doesn’t even feel like exercise. Those are wins all day!
Here are some of the many benefits you will reap from time spent in the pool
When you workout in the pool you’re not putting any stress or strain on your joints like you would if you were jogging, for example. When you swim laps you are working almost every muscle in your body. Kicking with a kick board is a great way to strengthen and tighten your glutes! If you’re recovering from an injury or are an athlete who wants to stay active, but give his or her body a break, swimming is the ideal way to do just that.
Stronger muscles. When you swim you are getting close to 50 percent more resistance than if you’re jogging. That means your muscles are working harder (but it doesn’t even feel like it!) Having a stronger core will help with posture and ease back pain. You may even notice you’re losing weight while building muscle!
Your endurance is enhanced. When you swim, you’re pushing against the water – resistance training. The resistance that pushing yourself through water builds muscle endurance and also enhances your cardiovascular system and your lung capacity. When your blood is pumping through your body, you are also helping rid yourself of harmful toxins.
How To Get Ready For Swimsuit Season
Low impact exercises are best for those recovering from an injury, older individuals and anyone who wants to workout without the fear of injury. We aren’t saying that going to a gym or running or jogging are bad we are just pointing out that when you swim it’s a low impact way to work out and that may be just what the doctor ordered.
Lower your stress. In these times of coronavirus, doesn’t everyone need stress relief? We know we do. When you swim laps you can simply listen to the sound of the water, the feeling of the water caressing your body as you swim and the power of your breath. Even when you’re getting a workout, your body and mind are relaxing and unwinding from the stressors of life.
The more you work out the faster you burn fat. Consider this: You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound! That is a lot! BUT when you swim or spend time in the pool playing games with your family you can burn as much as 600 calories in that hour AND you’re having fun doing it. When you swim daily you will burn fat faster and lose weight more quickly.
Pool time is great for all family members of all ages! From young child to senior citizen, spending time in the pool is a way to get fit, have fun and bond with your family!
We’ve put together a list of exercises that don’t feel like exercise but will help you lose weight. Ask your doctor before you begin any exercise program – we bet your doctor will agree that swimming is great!
- Treading water This is an exercise you may need to work your way up to, but it will burn calories and truly give you an amazing workout! Go the deep end of the pool. Tread water for as hard and fast as you can for thirty seconds. Stop. Rest. Do it again. You’re using your arms and legs and even your core to keep you above water.
- Jogging in the pool If you’re looking for a great way to burn calories without any equipment or any training, water jogging is the best way to get going. Go into the shallow area and jog. The water will offer resistance AND protect your bones and joints. Jog from side to side. Start with one minute intervals and work your way up once your endurance is built up. You can add to your fat burning by carrying pool weights to help tone your arms as you jog.
- Chaos running This is a more advanced version of water jogging. Instead of jogging in a straight line, jog across your pool following a zigzag pattern. This will create several currents in the pool, increasing your pool water’s resistance which will help further strengthen all your core stabilizing muscles.
- Step planks Start in a plank position in the shallow end of the pool. Put your hands on the top pool step, keep your feet on the pool floor. Bend your elbows and lower your body into the water without having your face underwater. Straighten your elbows. Repeat.
- Pool plank Whether done on land or as a pool exercise, planking is a very effective way to strengthen your core muscles and strengthen your upper body. At the same time, planking also helps boost your body’s endurance level. Stand in waist-high pool water. Hold a water log or kicking board in both hands. Slowly press it straight down into the water while leaning your body forward until your body is on an even incline. Make sure that your feet stay planted on the pool floor and your head is above water. Try and keep yourself stable for 1 to 2 minutes
- Water lunges offer a high impact benefit with a low impact exercise. Stand in waist deep water. Do a deep lunge with your left knee bent. Keep your hands on your hips for balance. Now jump. Scissor your legs and land with your right leg forward in a lunge position.
- Fetch Throw an inflatable pool ball all way to the other side of the pool and briskly jog towards this. This is a great exercise for everyone in the pool! Your children won’t even know they are exercising, all they know is that they are sprinting around to get the ball and tossing it back.
- Beach ball workout Submerge a beach ball as a way to tone your core and upper body. Try using different movements to vary the muscles that are targeted. For example, pressing it down with your forearms will help you tone your upper arm and shoulder muscles. Pushing the inflated beach ball underwater is not as easy as you may think!
- Arm presses The water resistance firms flabby arms and strengthens and tones shoulder and upper back muscles. Stand in chest-deep water with your palms open and your fingers spread apart. Move your arms back and forth and up and down. Slowly increase the speed as you do this. Use free weights if you want to add the challenge further.
- Sliding shuffles Tone inner and outer thighs with this exercise. With your hands on your hips, spread legs so that they are shoulder apart. Bring your left leg towards your right leg in a quick, but smooth, the movement so that you’re standing with your feet close together. Spread your right leg so that they are once again shoulder-length apart, and repeat. Do this until you reach the other end of your pool.
What can you do to get the most out of pool exercises?
Here are ways to make sure you reap optimum rewards out of your pool workout.
Use free weights
One of the biggest mistakes people make when doing pool exercises is they believe that swimming laps will magically burn off weight. It won’t… not really. Alternate pool exercises that focus on resistance training and using free weights can actually help you build and tone your muscles, which, in turn, helps speed up your body’s fat-burning capability. Set a schedule where you use weights and other days when you don’t.
Play music while you work out A study in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology shows music affects mood while working out. Fast, upbeat songs help you get more pumped up and able to do more reps while slow, relaxing music helps your body cool down and recover faster. Look for waterproof ear buds or play a stereo poolside while you workout.
Load up on carbs before working out Eating some carbs before jumping in to do your pool exercises provides your body the fuel it needs to go through a high-intensity workout so that you’re able to put in more effort when doing your pool workout routine. This may seem counterintuitive as carbs are generally considered bad for your health, but if you’re working out, this is a way to help energize your body.
Interval training is key Alternate high-intensity pool exercises with short breaks to lose weight faster. Interval training increases cardiovascular endurance levels.
Work out in waist-deep water Unless you are swimming laps or treading water, do the workouts in water where you head is above it! This will provide your body with enough resistance to get the most of your water aerobics. At the same time, your feet will still get good contact on the pool floor to help you stay well-balanced throughout the different pool exercises.
Wear water shoes to prevent you slipping while you’re working out. Water shoes will improve traction and give you more resistance during your workouts.
Treat yourself to a post workout glass of chocolate milk According to a study in the Journal of Exercise Physiology, drinking a glass of low-fat chocolate milk immediately after a workout helps you recover faster compared to sugary commercial recovery drinks.
ZZzsss No matter how intense your pool exercise routines are, if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you will have difficulty losing weight. A study in the Sports Review discovered poor quality of sleep can lead to poor athletic performance, a lower amount of calories your body burns while working out, and even cause your weight to plateau. Make sure you get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.