Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your pool workouts. After all, exercising in the water is one of the lowest-impact ways to get fit, which means it is gentler on your legs, joints, and even your veins. Swimming and water workouts are often recommended for people who have or are at risk for varicose veins. So, heat your pool, join a gym with a pool, or find an indoor pool where you can swim year-round and get started on these workouts today!
1. Swim laps.
Of course, this is the first thing that comes to mind when people think of exercising in the pool, and it’s a great total body workout that also puts very little pressure on your lower body. Breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke, the crawl — stick with the stroke you are most comfortable with or mix them up. Try incorporating drills into your lap swimming once you gain some confidence.
2. Take a water aerobics class.
If you can’t swim at home, you can always look for a water aerobics class at your local gym or community center. Contrary to popular belief, these aren’t just for grandma. You’ll find people of all ages, both sexes, and ability levels ranging from beginner to advanced. The water creates a level playing field, and you are bound to have a good time and make new friends. If you prefer the solitary pool at home, you can find water aerobics classes on YouTube as well.
3. Lift weights.
You don’t have to be a gym rat to tone your muscles with weights. You can now buy dumbbells made specifically for the water for as little as $10 to $20. If you can’t wait for your order to arrive, don’t worry. Gallon jugs of water make a nice fill-in until you do receive your delivery.
4. Go aqua jogging.
Aqua jogging may seem easy, but some of the best athletes in the world use it as a way to get in shape. You can jog around the shallow end of your pool, or for an even lower impact exercise, you can jog around the deep end without touching the bottom. Just use the same motions you would when jogging on the ground. For those who can’t stay afloat, you can buy a special aqua jogging belt.
5. Take your regular workout to the water.
High knees, jumping jacks, lunges — there’s no rule that says you can’t do the same workout you do on land in the water. You may have to make a few accommodations, but you’ll find that the added resistance works muscles you haven’t used in years. You can even do crunches and pushups on the side of the pool.
6. Do a noodle workout.
You’ve seen those cheap foamy noodles for the pool. While they were initially used as kids’ toys, they can actually make great workout tools. Some water aerobics classes even incorporate them in their routines. Grab one and look for workout ideas online.
7. Ride the bicycle…sort of.
If you want a watery alternative to biking, just move your legs like you are cycling in the water. You can hold on to a step, the side of the pool, or a ladder rail to help keep you stabilized.