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Great Summer Workouts

Poolside Fitness continued...

But it's not very social, so if you're with the family, make it fun.

"Everybody's got floaties," says Pittsley. Any kind will do, but the smaller, the more work you'll have to do. For example, one of those long, skinny noodles is a great challenge.

Try putting it under your arms or holding it with your hands and doing flutter kicks while staying afloat, he says.

"The kicking works the quadriceps and hamstrings and a little bit of the glutes," says Pittsley.

Then try balancing the floatie on the lower body, either across the hips or between the legs, and work the shoulders, arms, and back trying to stay afloat. "These exercises can be used as a combination of cardiovascular and toning," says Pittlsey.

Compete with family and friends for time or distance. Have races with mid-torso power walking in the shallow end of the pool, says Ayres. Put your hands underwater and swing the arms with open hands to increase resistance.

Calabrese recommends water aerobics. Organized classes are great, but why not create your own? she says. Here's a sample routine to try:

  • Warm up by walking the perimeter of the pool, then jogging it. In the shallow end, do 90 seconds each of walking lunges, squats, and leg lifts to the front side and back, holding on to the edge. Finish working the lower body with flutter kicks holding the edge or using a kickboard. Then submerge to the neck and do chest presses, reverse flies, bicep curls, and arm circles to work the upper body.
  • "For the core," Calabrese says, "try floating prone [face down] and supine [face up] and keeping the body straight using only the arms and abs."
  • For muscle endurance, she says, "go to the deep end and tread water as long as you can for the finale." Tread just with the arms, then just with the legs, then with both.

The water is a good place for exercise beginners because of the low stress to the joints, say experts.

No matter where you choose to be this summer, all these outdoor activities, says Calabrese, bring you back to being a kid. "As adults, we go to the lake or beach and we just sit there. Let being outdoors bring back all those childhood memories of the fun vacations you had. You'll never regret the memories you create doing these activities as a family."

Reviewed on March 12, 2009

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