It is summertime in the south, and you know what that means HEAT and HUMIDITY! Who wants to go outside and exercise when it is 95◦ with a heat index of 104◦? Not us! So let’s talk about a great way to get your exercise in while staying nice and cool, the answer… head to your nearest pool! We are going to do a series of posts on aquatic exercises that can help you stay in shape and cool at the same time.
Before we start into the exercises though, let’s talk a little safety. Water can be wonderful but dangerous, if you do not know how to swim wear a life vest and swim with an experienced swimmer. Another area to watch out for is getting in and out of the pool. Make sure you are physically able to climb up and down the steps without risk of injury.
OK! Now that we are safely in the pool, let’s talk benefits of doing exercise in the water. Through Archimedes’ Principle, the water pushes up on your body as you are pushing down into it causing you to float. This is why you feel lighter in the water than on dry land. It is great for your joints! You can walk around in the pool with much less of an impact on your lower extremities allowing those who may not be able to walk far on land to do so across the pool. Being chest deep in the water can reduce your body weight by about 90%! Since water is more dense than air, swimming also provides more resistance (or drag) for your body moving through the water making the exercise more challenging!
If staying in place is an issue due to the pool being crowded, a tether can help keep you stationary until you have mastered doing it yourself. Hand webs can also be used for extra resistance. Flotation belts can help you stay upright in deeper water, or if you don’t have a flotation belt place a pool noodle between your legs to give an extra boost.
Simply walking around the pool is great exercise! Wearing water shoes can help with keeping traction with the bottom of the pool, and make sure you pick your feet up to prevent scraping on the bottom of the pool. Swinging your arms is a way to incorporate your upper body!
What are your favorite ways to stay cool and exercise in the summer? Stay tuned for more exercises you can do in the water!