If you’re giving the treadmill some space – say, behind the hot water heater – maybe it’s time to think about taking your workout outside. No, not to the gym. You can get an amazing, calorie burning, muscle firming, metabolism-boosting, waist-trimming workout, right in your own backyard! Turns out your backyard pool, no matter how small, is not just for lounging anymore. Read on to discover the many benefits of pool workouts for all ages.
Benefits of Pool Exercises
You have probably already heard that swimming laps is a low-impact way to work out. That’s because water is buoyant, so you don’t get the jarring, wear and tear effect on joints that can occur with high-impact activities, such as running or weight lifting. Water is about 800 times denser than air, so it creates resistance that strengthens without putting pressure on muscles and joints. This makes pool workouts great for the injury-prone, as well as those with chronically painful conditions like arthritis. Pool exercises also come with tons of other perks:
- Stay cool in the water. There’s no need to worry about overheating, which can lead to dehydration.
- Calorie-burning. An average 30-minute pool workout burns about 300 calories.
- Cardio. The need to keep the body warm in the pool increases cardiovascular performance.
- Body support. Children and seniors, as well as pregnant women and people with injuries or disabilities, can get a great workout without worrying about falling.
- Improved flexibility. Enjoy a wider range of motion in the water.
- Reduced fatigue. Gravity-defying water allows for longer workouts without reaching exhaustion level.
- Calming effect. Being in water reduces stress for many people.
- Ease of completion. Unlike some exercise and sports programs, pool exercises don’t require any special skills or expensive equipment.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Canadian fitness guidelines for all ages recommend swimming as a moderate-intensity exercise that can help you be healthier and happier.
- Go deep – or not. Whether you’re swimming laps in the deep end or exercising in chest-high water, the cardio and fat burning benefits are there.
- A fountain of youth? Swimming is said to stabilize key health metrics such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and even cognitive functioning, effectively reducing one’s biological age.
Pool Workouts for Beginners
No matter what your age or ability level, swimming can help you keep in shape for a lifetime! To begin a successful pool exercise regime, you may need to adjust the way you approach your regular workout. Here are some tips for getting started:
- Allow for plenty of rest. You won’t be able to hit pool workouts as hard as you do on land, even if you’re super-fit; your heart rate doesn’t drop as quickly in the water.
- Mix up different strokes (backstroke, breaststroke, etc.) to give all muscle groups a chance to shine.
- Take an aquafit class that focuses on the shallow end. You’ll learn a lot of great stretching exercises that you can practice every day in your own pool at home!