Hate the Gym? Work Out in Water
Swimming Laps continued...
When deciding how to pace yourself in the pool, simply
calculate how many laps equal 25 or 50 yards. Then try to complete that number
of laps in one minute. For example, to swim 50 yards in one minute in my
15-yard pool, I would need to swim about three laps in one minute. To burn 250
calories, I would have to swim three laps in each minute of a 30-minute
Try to use different strokes to vary the muscles you work. Or
consider doing other types of water exercise to keep your workout balanced.
The growing variety of vertical, or upright, water workouts
includes water walking or jogging, water aerobics, water toning, water
flexibility training, water therapy and rehabilitation, water yoga, deep-water
exercise, and wall exercises.
You can effectively strengthen your muscles with vertical water
workouts because you experience 75% greater resistance than when you're
swimming horizontally. This is because the vertical position maximizes the drag
or pull of water against your movements. In traditional swimming, the goal is
to minimize drag and glide through the water efficiently.
Here are a few tips and points to keep in mind for vertical
- Buoyancy supports the body and allows you to make larger movements than you
can on land.
- Intensity increases as you increase the size and speed of your
- Sculling and downward movements of the hands create balance and
- Before you start using resistance devices, such as webbed hand mitts, make
sure you are balancing your arms and legs to help coordinate and stabilize your
- For good muscle balance, make movements that work the body all around in
various planes while maintaining proper body alignment.
- To maintain alignment, keep your abdominals tight to support a long,
upright spine and tuck your hips slightly under (particularly when moving
- Avoid holding static stretches in cool water.
- Drink plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration, which you may not notice
because you're not feeling or seeing the effects of sweat or body heat.
Try these easy exercises in your pool:
- Jog toward one end of the pool and then push back.
- Jumping jacks: Starting with the legs together, jump out and back.
- Shoulder raises front and side.
- Scissor steps with alternate arm punches.