Just Add Water

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You’re lying around at the pool. So why not add in some fun exercise to beat the heat while feeling the burn with a water cardio workout? You’ll stay cool and look hot with these calorie-torching activities.

Take a break from your regular exercise routine and jump in. Water exercising provides more resistance than working out in air while helping you improve muscle strength, cardio endurance, and flexibility.

The heavier resistance of water makes your muscles engage more fully, helping you burn more calories in the same amount of time as a land workout. And with the water’s buoyancy effect, there is less impact on your muscles and joints than doing weight-bearing exercises. 

So put on your swimsuit and let’s get started.


1.  Go For A Walk

Whether you start in your pool, the neighborhood pool, or a lazy river at the community center, walking in water is hundreds of times denser than air, which challenges your muscles in different ways.

Waist-high water is a good starting point, then increase the depth over time. Are you huffing and puffing after making your way around? Challenge yourself by adding laps each time you workout.

Need to increase the intensity? Try engaging your arms and legs more by using hand and/or ankle weights, hand paddles or resistance gloves.


2.  Increase To A Run

Staying in the shallow end of the pool, run from edge to edge. In this area your body weight is heavier, while in deeper water you’ll feel more drag as you cross the pool. Add more intensity by raising your legs into a high-knee position while pumping your arms.


3.  Jumping Jacks Like A Kid

Not just for land use, doing jumping jacks in the pool will work both your lower and upper body. The starting position is feet together, arms at your side. Move your legs outward as you jump and raise your arms over your head, just as you’d do on land. Venture into the deeper water for more toning and calorie burning.


4.  Kick Those Legs

This exercise works those core and leg muscles. Find a spot on the side of the pool or grab a kickboard. Rotate the different leg kicks you’d use when doing freestyle (flutter kick), breaststroke, scissor kicks (open legs to the sides then close), and butterfly (dolphin kick). 


5.  Do the Side Shuffle

Staying on the shallow end of the pool, sidestep from one side of the pool to the other, keeping your core tight and your toes pointing forward. Grab a resistance band and put in around your legs to increase the burn.


6.  Raise Those Arms

Foam dumbbells are the key to firming up those arms. While they seem weightless, once filled with water, the resistance kicks in. For bicep curls, hold dumbbells underwater at your side, put your palms up and raise your forearms bending at the elbow to water level, rotate your wrists turning your palms downwards, and push them back down to your side. To strengthen your upper body, try some lateral arm lifts. Holding the dumbbells at your side and keeping your arms straight, raise your arms to shoulder height and then lower to your sides.


7.  Do Push-Ups

Find a spot on the edge of the pool for this upper body toning. Place your arms shoulder-width apart on the pool’s edge, standing up straight, placing your feet a similar distance apart. Tighten your core as you raise your torso out of the pool, straightening your arms as much as you can. Briefly hold, then slowly lower yourself back into the pool. 


8.  Noodle Planks

Keeping your arms shoulder width apart, grab onto the pool noodle with both hands. Keeping your arms extended, engage your abs and core while raising your legs into a plank position, holding it as long as you can. 


9.  Let’s Bicycle

While facing into the pool, rest your elbows on the side of the pool or grab the ladder handles. Use your legs to pedal, just as you would while on a bike. This is a great way to strengthen your core, arms, and legs while burning calories.


10.  Swimming

Let’s not forget about the tried-and-true exercise of swimming. Just doing leisurely laps can burn approximately 500 calories/hour while toning your body muscles. 

What’s the right amount for you? Start slow and watch how your body responds. As you reach different comfort levels, challenge yourself by increasing your workout frequency, intensity, and duration. 

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