A New Year’s resolution to become more fit is one of the best ways you can prioritize yourself this year. There are many ways you can improve your fitness, and exercise is key. You may decide to purchase a gym membership or go on more walks with a friend, but if social distancing restrictions make those options tricky, there is another way – exercising in your very own pool!
Your backyard swimming pool is the perfect destination for your fitness goals this year. There are so many exercises and activities you can do in your pool, and the advantages of water-based exercise are well recognized. For starters, water is extremely gentle on joints and muscles, making water aerobics and other water-based exercises a great option for many people who can’t partake in traditional forms of exercise.
Let’s take a look at some of the activities you can do in your pool, to help achieve your New Year’s resolution of a healthier, happier you!
You’ve likely heard of water aerobics, but have you ever tried it? A program of simple but effective exercises in water, water aerobics is designed to increase your strength while putting less pressure on your heart, joints, and muscles. You might like to start out with a warm-up procedure, where you can repeat some exercises like jumping on the spot (bringing your knees as far up as you can in the water) or moving forward a few lengths in the pool, and then walking backward a few lengths. You could then move on to exercises that put your range of motion to the test and encourage increased flexibility. For instance, try standing on one foot while lifting your other leg straight up, and reaching out with your hand to touch the toes on your raised leg. Swap legs and repeat as often as you like. With your cool down, you can do less intense exercises, like heel touches in the water. There are so many options, and you can easily find a range of exercise ideas online.
When you think of exercising in a pool, you probably think of swimming laps. Known for being a big support to cardiovascular fitness, lap swimming is a great way to keep your heart, as well as your body, healthy. As you’re in the water, there is less impact on your body, and you can still build a considerable amount of strength. If you’re new to laps, it’s best to start off with a smaller goal. Set yourself a target of swimming two, then five, then 10 laps, over a period of time, but recognize what your body is capable of, and don’t push yourself unnecessarily. Over several months, you’ll find that the number of laps you can swim comfortably, increases.
Swim jets are easily installed in pools and create a strong stream of water to provide resistance to swim against. If your pool is on the smaller side, and swimming laps really isn’t an option in it, you’ll find swim jets allow you to swim laps regardless of the size of your pool. Many people training for fitness competitions or events benefit from having swim jets installed in their pool, as they don’t have to leave the comfort and privacy of their backyard to stay on top of their fitness goals. Of course, you don’t need to be an athlete to get plenty of use out of these handy pool additions. Consider getting them installed if you’re limited in terms of pool space, but prefer swimming laps over other water-based activities.
Bungee straps are an inexpensive alternative to swim jets. Depending on the design you choose, you can have bungee strap cords that are attached to your ankle or ones that attach to a belt you wear around your waist. The other ends of the cords are then attached to an immovable object at the rear of the pool. Rather than having the directed current of a swim jet which you push forward against, the bungee strap you’re wearing is designed to keep pulling you back. This allows you to swim against the resistance.