It’s summer and it’s hot outside. Where’s the perfect place to spend the day? At the pool, the beach, or the lake!
The cool water offers an escape from the heat and a chance for fun and relaxation. But this summer, rather than floating around on an inflatable or lying out in the sun, it’s time to view the cool water as a chance to exercise. Water offers a low-impact workout, so it’s easy on the joints and feet. In addition, the weight of the water provides a natural form of resistance, giving your muscles a workout as you move against it.
Next time you’re at the water, spend some time burning calories with these water fitness ideas.
In Shape at the Shore
A popular vacation destination, the beach is more than a place to play in the sand and relax under an umbrella. The sand and water offer great opportunities to combine fun and fitness. Get your heart rate up with a long walk along the shore gathering shells. Walking in the sand is a great workout for your feet, calves, and shin muscles. It also strengthens your ankles to protect against injury. Do some interval training by alternating walking and jogging. Play Frisbee or paddleball with a partner or set up a game of sand volleyball. Even building a sandcastle can get your heart pumping. When your temperature gets a bit too high, cool off in the water.
While you’re there, get in the water and jump waves with the kids, head out to snorkeling, or go kayaking in peaceful waters. Swimming near the shore is a great option as well, as it works all major muscle groups for a full body workout. Grab a surfboard or boogie board and ride the waves. You’ll get a great upper body workout maneuvering the waves and having fun.
You can also take advantage of the beautiful scenery, the rhythm of the waves, and the warm sands for meditation, deep breathing, and stretching exercises.
Live at the Lake
If you don’t live near the ocean, perhaps you can escape the heat and humidity at a nearby lake. Rather than lounging around on a boat, combine summer fun and fitness with the following ideas:
- Take a hike around the lake if possible. Walking on trails will strengthen your legs, improve your balance, and work your core. Jump in the lake to cool off.
- Row around in a canoe to get an upper body workout you won’t forget. Rowing works your back, shoulder, and arm muscles as well as your core.
- Another fun cross-training activity at the lake or any large body of water is paddle boarding. You can do this either sitting, kneeling, or standing on a paddleboard. Use your arms or long oar to paddle around.
- Anchor your boat and jump in the water to get a cardio workout by swimming around or treading water.
Pounds at the Pool
Feel the burn (muscles not sunburn) this summer with fitness at the pool. Swim laps, tread water, or just hold a float and kick around the pool. The kicking motion will work your hamstrings, quadriceps, and your glutes. Power walk or jog from one side of the pool to the other. The resistance of the water will give you a workout.
You may feel like a kid again, but moving around the pool is great exercise to get you in shape and burn some extra calories.
Water, Where Safety Comes First.
Any activity near or in the water requires safety measures. Stay hydrated in the heat by drinking plenty of water, wear sunscreen in the sun and reapply often, wear life preservers in deep water, and follow posted and common-sense pool rules for a fun and fit summer.
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