With August just around the corner, we’re cursing the day that summer, and the lovely warmth and carefreeness of it all, ends. Especially with social distancing measures in place, it’s been nice to have plenty of sunny days in front of us to get out and walk, hike or lay by the pool at a safe distance. And boy, have we loved laying by the pool. But, hello! We’ve been sleeping on a use for those pools besides tanning and "just dipping our feet."
Now, I don’t super enjoy cardio (I’m always skeptical of anyone who does), but it’s a necessity to overall health and fitness, especially during quarantine when we’re sitting down and staying stationary a lot more. But next time you flop onto a pool float and laze around in the sun, consider getting a few laps in, as well.
It doesn’t even matter that you don’t have an Olympic-sized pool in your backyard. We’re not going for show, here. Swimming is an excellent way to get your body moving, with tons of benefits over traditional cardio exercises: It uses just about every muscle group you can think of; it’s low-impact and therefore easier on the joints; and can even build strength, due to the resistance on your body from the water, which is 800 times denser than the air, mind you.
But with a lot of gyms around the country closed or just not safe enough to you, even if you had a killer swimming regimen going, you may have lost the motivation when you lost your gym access.
So, we’re taking it to the backyard, but don’t worry -- these workouts don’t just include boring laps. You can even add floating dumbbells, kickboards or buoyancy belts to increase resistance and aid in your form. And remember to hydrate, since you may not be able to tell how exerted you are from the water.
Take any one of these exercises at your own pace, or rotate through them for your next training session. You’ll stay cool, that’s for sure.
If you thought running on the ground took a lot of energy, wait until you try it on the floor of your pool. This is an easy workout, but don’t let it get monotonous -- make it a game. Challenge a friend (or a kid, they’ll sleep so great that night) to a race, or make it a personal relay with a reward at the end.
No Peloton? No problem. Rest your arms on the edge of the pool (or float with a noodle), lean back and cycle your feet through the water like you’re riding a bike. Your abs will crunch along with your cycles and your legs will wear themselves out.
Take your abs to the pool with this simple but deadly exercise. Keep your back against the side of the pool and spread your arms, holding onto the sides. Lift your legs up and down, making a V shape below the surface. Ooooh, the burn!
Classic Crunches & Russian Twists
Float on your back, draping your legs over the lip of the pool, and up and down or side to side you go. Simple but sneakily difficult.
Hold onto the side of the pool from behind, facing the water, and dip yourself into and out of the water. If it’s a super hot day, each dip might even feel like relief as you meet the cool water. You’ll probably need to crank up your normal amount of reps, but it’s all about hard work, isn’t it?
The trick with this one is to never let your feet touch the bottom of the pool. Start with your knees tucked into your chest, then explode out so you’re floating on your back. Pull your knees back in, then shoot out again, this time floating on your stomach. Repeat, and remember, toes up!