Summer’s winding down, but exercising in the pool can be done year round. Check out today’s guest post about pool workouts for some great tips to add to your fitness routine.
Swimming is an exercise that anyone can do, regardless of their age, physical condition or weight. It helps lower blood pressure and improves breathing and circulation. And it’s much easier on the joints for those who have arthritis. If you need to lose weight or get in shape, start a swimming routine or take a swimming class. Use some of the following tips to get the most out of your workouts…
Start Out Slowly
Avoid going full bore with your swimming routine, even if you were once an expert swimmer. Swimming is still grueling exercise and employs many muscle groups, so you still risk injuries and possibly even a heart attack if you try to do too much right away. Plunging into cold water in particular may increase the risk of heart attacks. Regardless of your swimming prowess, you may not be in the same condition as you were when you were swimming regularly. Start with a few laps and work your way up to additional laps when your conditioning improves.
Vary Your Strokes
Various swim strokes work different muscle groups. Some are also designed to help you rest, while others will provide more of a cardiovascular-intensive workout. Some of the more arduous strokes are the freestyle, butterfly and long back stroke movements. Use these strokes to increase your heart rate and burn more calories, but only after you’ve conditioned yourself. Lengthen your swim sessions by interspersing the side or short back strokes into your workouts, which are less intensive in nature. You can work your legs without even swimming. Just grab onto a wall and perform some of the different kicks, such as the flutter and whip kicks.
Add Other Pool Exercises
You don’t always have to be swimming to work out in a pool. There are many other exercises you can do to lose weight or tone your body. Try walking across the pool in the shallow end — in waist high water or slightly above. The water provides much more resistance than walking on a track. Start with a slow walk and then increase your pace. Treading water is another way to firm your muscles up and burn calories. A vigorous water treading, where you work your arms and legs as fast as you can, burns up to 11 calories per minute—the same calorie-burning rate as a six mile-per-hour run.
Break Workouts Up
You will learn to enjoy your pool workouts more if you divide your workouts into sessions. First of all, try working out for five or ten minutes, then relaxing awhile before you commence any other exercises. That way you can lounge around and chat with others, which will make the experience more fun. Like bodybuilders, work on different body parts each day so you don’t overwork muscles. For example, dedicate one day to working your legs harder, whether you’re kicking alongside the wall or jogging through waist-high water. Do more freestyle swimming and butterfly swimming to hit your arms, chest and lats more. You can also set aside a day or two for endurance training.
Hydrate and Eat Right
A pool workout, like any other, drains fluids from your body, so make sure you drink plenty of water. You should also drink Gatorade or other fluids that replenish electrolytes (sodium and potassium). Moreover, eat more lean meats, such as chicken and fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains, and cut back on the snacks and junk food.
No matter what your overall fitness objective is, you can tone up, lose weight and get the body you want by swimming and performing various exercises in the pool.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.