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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pool Workouts

Get fit in the ease and comfort of a pool

Before starting any workout routine, a visit to your regular doctor is always a good idea.  
Also, If you don't know how to swim, please start with swimming lessons before venturing into a water fitness program.  Classes are offered regularly at recreational centers and health clubs with a choice of individual, or group lessons.  If you've already mastered the life-saving skill of swimming, please prepare yourself with the proper basic equipment necessary to begin. 

Shallow water walking

Being in the shallow water is great for beginners, those recovering from a recent illness or injury and even pregnant women.   Finding a pool with ankle/knee deep water may be a challenge though.  Sometimes, this may require using a children's pool or even a pool at home.  Begin by walking in this shallow water, as you begin to feel more comfortable with the resistance on your legs, move to a chest-level height.  This higher level of water will provide not only great resistance for all submerged muscles, it will burn calories at twice the rate of walking on land.  Try to keep at a rigorous pace to continue keeping the heart rate elevated.  

     -Start marching in water
     -Walk sideways
     -Do forward lunges
     -Utilize a water belt
     -Walk heal to toe

Deep water running or jogging

Deep water running is usually acceptable in the set aside lanes at most pools.  If your pool doesn't provide a buoyancy jacket or vest, a pool supply store should have some in a few sizes.  The vest prevents you from touching the bottom of the pool and keeps you afloat.  Running through the lanes this way is an intense workout that will melt calories and tone arms, legs and core.  

Water Aerobics

Again, the local health club, recreational center or gym will have a water aerobics schedule.  Find an appropriate time that works for you.  Remember, if joining an ongoing class, don't be intimidated by the moves or the fact that others seem to know the routine; you'll learn.  Be sure that once you learn the moves, you practice them in water that is suitable to your height; not everyone will get a great workout in the same depth of water.  

     -Do knee bends, raising one knee at a time up to waist level.
     -Stationary jog, jump, or do jumping jacks.
     -Try large and small arm and leg circles.
     -Try to attend all the scheduled classes for the greatest benefit.


Kickboarding is an exercise that children and adults can use to learn better stroke and kicking skills, but it's also good for water fitness as well.  Holding a kickboard affords you the time to focus on breathing, as well as control of movement.  Be sure to hold the kickboard with arms extended straight out in front for the best benefit.  Kick legs hard and fast while keeping the knees together.  Control of your core and upper legs will give you greater resistance and an even better workout.  

Swimming Laps

Always start with a warm-up lap.  Pick a set number of laps to swim and then get out and stretch your muscles.  Then, hit the pool for another set.  Swimming pool laps are therapeutic, the rhythm eliminates stress and give the whole body a full workout while keeping the core temperature level.  

List of things you may need for your fitness routine:

-Swim cap
-Nose plugs
-Ear plugs
-Fitted swimwear
-Gym bag
-Pool shoes with good grip
-Properly fitting aquatic shoes 
-Resistance gloves
-Buoyancy vest
-Pool noodles
-Sunscreen (if outside)
-Music (waterproof)
-Water bottle to rehydrate