Your backyard swimming pool offers more than just long hours of fun and relaxation for you and the whole family. Pool exercises and water aerobics are a fun and cool way to lose weight and stay fit as temperatures soar with the coming of summer.
Benefits of Pool Exercises
Pool exercises look like you’re not straining as much as you would be when working out on dry land. But looks can definitely be deceiving. In fact, pool exercises offer a lot of great benefits especially if you’re looking to lose weight.
Studies show that pool water provides as much as 42 times resistance than air. That means that your muscles would need to work harder as you do your reps during your pool exercise routine, which, in turn, means that more calories are being burned by your body.
When you do your workout routines on land, your body would simply have to push and pull against your free weights and gravity.
Working out in your swimming pool is different because, in addition to having to push and pull against the weight and gravity, you also need now to push and pull against the pool water that is also pushing and pulling against your body. The added resistance pushes your workout routine just a notch higher, helping your muscles build endurance more quickly
Pool exercises also are great in helping build up the endurance of your cardiovascular area. Studies show that blood moves through the body at a faster rate to warm it up in cooler temperatures like in dipping in your pool water. Over time, your cardiovascular performance will strengthen.
Pool exercises are low-impact
The buoyancy of your pool’s water lessens the amount of impact your joints take when doing pool exercises, so you not only minimize the risk of injury but working out will also be less painful and taxing.
Exercise, in general, help release endorphins in the body which help you feel good and reduce stress levels. Combine this with the natural relaxing property of just immersing yourself in warm water can help make you feel more relaxed and refreshed, even after working out.
Burn fat faster
Studies show that you need to burn about 3500 calories just to get rid of one pound of fat. The good news is that a 1-hour pool workout session can help you easily burn as much as 600 calories! It’s no wonder then why people who swim every day lose weight at a much faster pace.
Great for all ages
Perhaps the best part about doing pool exercises is that they could be done by anyone regardless of age or fitness level, making this a fun and healthy bonding activity for the whole family.
10 Fat Burning Pool Exercises
- Water Jogging This is one of the easiest and most effective fat-burning pool exercises, with you burning off 17 calories per minute. Simply jog across your pool area in waist-high water starting at 1-minute intervals and then working your way up to 3-minute intervals. Carry some free pool weights to help you tone your arms at the same time.
- Treading Intervals This pool workout routine will help you slim down faster, and firm up all over. Head over to the deep end of the pool and tread as hard as you can without stopping for 30 seconds. Then float on your back for 30 seconds. Doing 30 of these bursts in one afternoon, and you’ll be able to burn up 300 calories every day easily.
- Step Push-ups Start in a plank position in the shallow end of your pool with your hands on the top of the pool step and toes planted on the pool floor. Slowly bend your elbows to lower as far as you can without getting your face wet. Straighten your elbows and repeat. Begin with 2 sets of 15 reps and work your way up to 3 sets of 15.
- Waist-deep lunges Jumping while doing this pool exercise deals some high impact calorie burning without hurting your joints. To do this, stand in waist-deep water. Lunge with the right foot forward with your right thigh parallel to the pool floor, your left knee bent, and your hands on your hips. Quickly jump up and scissor your legs so that you land with your left leg forward. Do this for 15 to 20 times per set.
- Chaos running This is a more advanced version of water jogging. Instead of jogging in a straight line, jog across your pool following a zigzag pattern. This will create several currents in the pool, increasing your pool water’s resistance which will help further strengthen all your core stabilizing muscles.
- Fetching game Throw an inflatable pool ball all way to the other side of the pool and briskly jog towards this. Get your kids or friends to dive in and race who will be the first to reach it. In all of the fun and excitement, you won’t even realize you’ve already been making sprints in your pool, which will help you burn out 175 calories in as little as 20 minutes.
- Beach ball workout Trying to submerge a floating beach ball is not only a lot of fun, but it also is a great pool workout to tone your core and upper body. Try using different movements to vary the muscles that are targeted. For example, pressing it down with your forearms will help you tone your upper arm and shoulder muscles.
- Pool plank Whether done on land or as a pool exercise, planking is a very effective way to strengthen your core muscles and strengthen your upper body. At the same time, planking also helps boost your body’s endurance level.Stand in waist-high pool water. Hold a water log or kicking board in both hands. Slowly press it straight down into the water while leaning your body forward until your body is on an even incline. Make sure that your feet stay planted on the pool floor and your head is above water. Try and keep yourself stable for 1 to 2 minutes
- Arm presses The resistance coming from the water helps you firm up those flabby arms as well as strengthening and toning your shoulder and upper back muscles. Stand in chest-deep water with your palms open and your fingers spread apart. Move your arms back and forth and up and down. Slowly increase the speed as you do this. Use free weights if you want to add the challenge further.
- Shuffle slides This pool exercise will help tone your inner and outer thighs. With your hands on your hips, spread legs so that they are shoulder apart. Bring your left leg towards your right leg in a quick, but smooth, movement so that you’re standing with your feet close together. Spread your right leg so that they are once again shoulder-length apart, and repeat. Do this until you reach the other end of your pool.
Getting the Most Out of Your Pool Exercises
Even though pool exercises are far easier and more fun to do than working out in the gym, you’d still want to make sure that you get the most benefit out of every workout routine and rep. Here are some ways to make sure that you reap optimum rewards out of your pool workout.
Use free weights
One of the biggest mistakes people make when doing pool exercises is that they believe that simply doing laps around the pool is enough to lose weight. In fact, purely concentrating on cardio exercises in your pool will actually cause your metabolism to slow down, which means that it becomes even more difficult to lose weight. Alternating this with pool exercises that focus on resistance training and using free weights can actually help you build and tone your muscles, which, in turn, helps speed up your body’s fat-burning capability.
Have some music
A study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology showed that music affects your overall mood while working out. Fast, upbeat songs help you get more pumped up and able to do more reps while slow, relaxing music helps your body cool down and recover faster. You can easily find waterproof ear pieces and cases for your smartphone in your local sports store.
Load up on carbs before working out
Eating some carbs before jumping in to do your pool exercises provides your body the fuel it needs to go through a high-intensity workout so that you’re able to put in more effort when doing your pool workout routine.
Break up your routine in intervals
Alternating high-intensity pool exercises with short breaks will not only help you lose weight faster, but it will also help increase your cardiovascular endurance level.
Do your pool exercises in waist-deep water
Unless you are doing laps or treading pool exercises, make it a point to do your pool workout routine in waist-deep water. This will provide your body with enough resistance to get the most of your water aerobics. At the same time, your feet will still get good contact on the pool floor to help you stay well-balanced throughout the different pool exercises.
Wear water shoes
Water shoes will help prevent you from slipping while doing your pool exercises. They will also help improve traction while adding a bit more resistance, resulting in providing your more intense pool workouts.
Drink chocolate milk
Yes, you read that right. According to a study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology, drinking a glass of low-fat chocolate milk immediately after an intense workout helps your body recover faster compared to taking those commercial recovery drinks. This alone is reason enough for you to be motivated to do some pool workouts every day.
Get a good night’s sleep
No matter how intense your pool exercise routines are, if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, it wouldn’t help you lose weight one bit. In fact, a study published in the Sports Review discovered that poor quality of sleep and not sleeping enough can actually lead to poor athletic performance, a lower amount of calories your body burns while working out, and even cause your weight to plateau. So make sure that you get anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.