3 ways to get fit in the pool

Published 6 June, 2016

Looking for effective and fun ways to work out in the water? Read on

Swimming for fun
Half an hour of vigorous swimming will earn you around 7 FitPoints®*. Even if you’re not a beginner, taking some lessons can help build your confidence. Learning a better technique will help you get more out of your workout – you’ll become more efficient.

For example, when you’re doing the front crawl, avoid ‘windmill’ing your arms – extend your lead arm out in front of you and hold it there for as long as possible while the other arm completes the next cycle. To avoid getting breathless, exhale fully under the water so that when you turn to the side to breathe you are ready to inhale.

When it comes to breaststroke, submerge your face, looking at the bottom of the pool with your eyes focused about a metre in front of you, after every arm pull. Practise exhaling fully underwater, then lifting your head to breathe in as you begin to pull.

Your instructor can also help you set goals to improve your fitness.

Aqua aerobics
If you feel too self-conscious to join an aerobics class in the gym, but love the idea, aqua aerobics is the perfect solution. An instructor stands at the edge of the pool and you follow simple routines that include jumps and running on the spot. As you’re weightless in water, even those who normally find land aerobics tough because they’re too heavy can join in.

Not only will an hour of moderate aqua aerobics earn you around 6 FitPoints*, you’ll get a cardiovascular workout with all-over toning and body conditioning on the side. Higher-intensity classes may use water dumbbells or webbed mitts to increase water resistance and help tone arms.

Most leisure centres run aqua aerobics classes, so contact your local pool or gym to see what’s on offer.

Water polo
Imagine playing football in the pool, and you’re nearly there. Water polo involves two teams, a ball and goals at either end of the pool, but instead of running, you swim, and instead of kicking, players throw the ball to one another.

It’s great for toning all your muscles. Your legs, in particular, get an excellent workout, as they’re constantly moving while you tread water. An hour of medium-intensity water polo will earn you around 6 FitPoints* and you’ll have so much fun, you’ll forget you’re doing it to get fit. If you feel competitive, you could even participate in league games.

The only prerequisite is you need to be a confident swimmer, but you can build up your skills once you sign up.

*Based on a 10st person