Need to refresh your fitness routine? An active dip in the pool offers low-impact, high heart-rate fun. You don’t have be an Olympic swimmer to enjoy the benefits of water workouts — in fact, the following routine is fit for everyone.
Why is swimming so good for you?
Swimming provides a whole raft of benefits. It not only gets you moving and earns you those FitPoints®, but also provides the following advantages:
- The buoyancy of the water creates a low-impact workout that reduces stress on your joints, bones, and muscles. This may make swimming preferable to running, for example.
- Like other aerobic exercise such as power walking and jogging, swimming can improve cardiovascular fitness, provided you swim at a brisk pace.
- While studies on the effects of swimming for weight loss have produced inconsistent results, it can burn around 600 calories an hour (depending on the stroke and intensity).
- Swimming works your entire body, from head to toe, toning all major muscles and building strength and endurance.
- Exercise, including swimming, has been shown to boost your mood and help with stress management.
- Swimming is a great exercise for everyone, from kids to grandparents!
Not sure where you local pool is? Just type 'swimming pool near me' into Google.
RELATED: Get started with swimming
The 30 minute water workout
1. Swim 2-3 laps (one lap equals two lengths of the pool) in your stroke of choice resting 10-15 second in between each lap.
2. Kick at the wall or holding onto a kickboard for 2 minutes, alternating 15 seconds of hard kicking with 15 seconds recovery.
Tip: Splashing is fun, but you’ll get a better workout if you keep your kick underwater. Focus on the speed rather than the height of your kick.
3. Swim 2-3 laps in your stroke of choice resting 10-15 second in between each lap.
4. Tread water for 2 minutes, alternating 15 seconds of treading with 15 seconds recovery. Try taking your hands out of the water, holding a ball or other object as you develop strength.
5. Swim 2-3 laps in your stroke of choice resting 10-15 second in between each lap.
6. Squat jumps: In shallow water, perform 2 minutes of explosive squat jumps, alternating 15 seconds of jumps with 15 seconds of recovery. Squat back and down with your feet a little more than hip width apart and your weight over your heels.
Tip: The deeper you squat, the more challenging the jump will be.
7. Swim 2-3 laps in your stroke of choice resting 10-15 second in between each lap.
8. Scull for 2 minutes, alternating 15 seconds of work with 15 seconds of recovery.
Tip: Sculling is treading water with your arms instead of your legs. Keep your fingers together and move your arms horizontally just below the surface of the water. Scoop the water in a downward direction, using your legs as little as possible.
9. Swim your final 2-3 laps in your stroke of choice resting 10-15 second in between each lap.
10. Finish up with some double leg lifts. Lean your back against the edge of the pool and extend your arms out to the side to hold on to the wall. Extend your legs down to the bottom of the pool then raise them as high as possible keeping them straight and together the whole time (think mermaid here). Perform two sets of 15 leg lifts.
Water workouts have a wonderfully calming effect. If you have a few minutes leftover, hit the hot tub and enjoy the afterglow of your workout. Your body and mind will thank you later.