Are you looking for a way to mix it up and change your workout routine? Whether you are a marathon runner, basketball player, or just trying to stay active as you age, you should consider adding a dip in the water to your weekly training plan.
The pool can provide a low-impact, full body workout that engages both the muscular and cardiovascular systems. Exercising in the pool differs from other modes of cardio by challenging different muscles with reduced pressure to the joints. Good for any age and/or ability level, the pool is a safe and effective workout environment for pregnant women as well as asthma sufferers. Furthermore, exercising in the pool has been shown to improve arthritis symptoms.
The number one rule in pool etiquette is to shower before entering the pool. Other tips include, staying in your lane and drying off before entering the sauna or locker room. On a similar note, feel free to ignore the old mantra of “No eating 30-minutes before swimming”; eating a light meal before swimming will give you sufficient energy for your workout.
Now that you have made a splash and jumped in the pool, you may be wondering what workout to do once you have submerged yourself. I have a few recommendations such as lap swimming, H2O Aerobics, and Water Running.
Lap Swimming entails swimming from one end of the pool to the other with rests in between, as necessary. Once you return to the side of the pool that you began your swim, you have swam one lap. As far as strokes go, beginners tend to stick with freestyle. For a more intense workout, try breaststroke or butterfly stroke. These strokes are more advanced moves that can increase calorie burn. The backstroke will suffice if you’re nervous about bringing your head up to breathe between strokes; however it is more difficult to control where you are going.
H2O Aerobics can be any form of water aerobics class that provides a complete body workout concentrating on core, legs, and cardio while using floating weights and moving to music. Because your entire body in submerged, it offers resistance training as well as cardio.
Water Running allows you to run while reducing the risk of joint injury. The water also provides increased resistance for a whole new run to challenge the entire body.
If you are wary about getting in the pool during the pandemic, it may ease your mind to know that CoVID-19 cannot be spread through water and chemicals used in the pool maintenance process kill the virus. You should not wear a mask in the pool, but social distancing should still be practiced in and around the pool.
Deanna McElmon is the Owner/Operator and Head Swim Coach at The GYM Cape Carteret Aquatic & Wellness, loving wife, mother & grandmother, Fiddle player, and local community leader.