Lounging by the pool is a staple summertime activity for many people, but it can also be a great opportunity for a workout. Rather that floating on a raft around the cool chlorine waters or napping in a deck chair, jump into the water and burn some calories while you work on your tan. According to Fitness magazine, treading water can burn about 11 calories a minute, so just imagine the potential! While swimming laps makes for great cardio, that’s far from the only way to work out in the water. Whether you want to focus on strength training or aerobic exercises, there are plenty of aquatic options to choose from.
Try some of these calorie-burning moves the next time you’re splashing around in the pool:
1. Water walking
Standing against the side of the shallow end of the pool, walk across to the opposite side. Swing your arms as though you were walking on land to work those muscles too. The Mayo Clinic suggested wearing hand webs for added resistance. Plant your feet firmly with each step and keep your abdominal muscles tightened to strengthen your core and help maintain balance.
Once you’ve gotten that down, you can gradually move deeper into the pool, using a foam noodle or other flotation device if needed. The deeper you go, the more resistance you’ll find so you can get a more intense workout.
2. Ballet Tread
This exercise is done in the deep end of the pool, where you can’t touch the bottom. Fitness magazine explained that you will cup your hands and move your arms in small circles below the surface to keep yourself afloat. Lift your right leg, keeping it straight, in front of you and point the toes on the left leg down. Hold for five seconds and then switch, tensing your gluteus and quad muscles to help keep your legs straight. Repeat for 30 seconds at a time.
3. Mermaid Move
Facing the wall in chest-deep water, hold on to the edge of the pool with one hand and place the other, fingers pointing down, against the wall just below the water’s surface. Kick your legs out behind you so you’re floating on your stomach, keeping your knees and feet together. Then pretend you have a mermaid tail and swim like the mythical creatures would. Fitness magazine recommended using as much force and speed as you can muster to create big waves.
Working out in the water has many advantages, it takes the pressure off of your joints, muscles and bones, which reduces the risk of injury and makes it easier and more enjoyable to perform various exercises. Women’s Health Magazine stated that it can take some time to adjust to exercising in the pool, as your muscles and other functions work differently underwater than on land. Start out slow and turn up the intensity with every workout.
Remember to warm up before starting your workout. Treading water or swimming casually for a few minutes will do the trick. After you’re done, be sure to stretch to prevent soreness and injury.
These are just a few exercises you can do in the pool, and they’re subtle enough you can work out while you’re chatting with your friends or watching your kids. They might not even notice, but if they do, get them to join in. Working out with loved ones can be much more fun than doing it alone.