It’s been no secret that I’ve hung up my running shoes for a bit and said “farewell” to the pavement. I haven’t given up fitness at all. I’ve been swimming… a lot. So when Kaitlin from AnApplePerDay asked me if she could write a guest post for my blog about swimming and pool exercises, I of course agreed.
I didn’t want to admit it, but it was true – I was burned out on running. I had done some long distance running, and while it was fun for a while, it was time for something different. I needed something to motivate me, and that’s when I learned how many great workout options the pool can provide. Here are 6 ways I get my “fit” on in the pool:
1) Aqua jogging. I was burned out on running, but I still love cardio work. One of the guys in my running group swore by aqua jogging for cross training, so I tried it. I wished I had found it sooner – my knees would have loved it. I just went to the community pool when the lap lanes were open, and took off in a good running posture. It was heavenly – the water was soothing, the impact was gentle, and I had a blast.
2) Kick boxing class. I had wanted to try kick boxing for a while, and so I gave it a try. Of course the instructor was this little slip of a thing who looked like she could work all day long, and she gave us a fantastic workout. We did water punches and power kicks for long periods, but I was having so much fun trying to keep up an hour passed before I knew it. Here are some sites with more information about the types of water exercise you can try:
3) Aqua tai chi. I had done some karate in college, so I had an idea of the moves of martial arts. But to see them practiced in the water was very interesting – each movement had the added effect of water resistance to make you work harder. The teacher made us focus on timing our breathing with the movement. It was very peaceful – my husband said I looked more relaxed when I walked in that night.
4) Aqua aerobics class. I don’t do this one all the time, because I’m not that much into group exercise. But I have to stop by occasionally, because it’s just so much fun. A class was the first water workout I tried, and right away I noticed how much laughter and smiling was going on – the people really enjoyed being there. I’ve gotten to know some of the people, and it’s making me rethink group exercise.
5) Abs work. We have a pool at the house, and sometimes I’ll just go out to it for a water workout. I like to do ab work in particular. One exercise I do is to put a towel along the side of the pool, then put my arms on it and face the water. I’ll take my legs and pull them up to my chest, then let them relax back down. I’ll do 15 to 20 of those, and 3 sets.
6) Tread water. When the instructor at the aqua aerobics class suggested this, I wondered at first. I don’t think I had done the treading water thing since I took swimming lessons as a kid. She said it was wonderful cardio work, so I gave it a try. I just went to the deep end of our pool and began to tread – it didn’t take long to see what she meant. I was quickly breathing harder, and noticed not only my legs, but arms and shoulders. I did it for as long as I could, rested in the shallow, then did it again.
I’ve gotten my enthusiasm back for exercise, and it’s all because I discovered how much you can do in the pool besides swim. I have to go now – I’m off to try water Zumba – I’ll let you know how that works out.
Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her best friend and lives in Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking, biking and enjoy nature. She just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.