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Swim To Stay Fit This Summer

June 17, 2013

This post was written by Rosemary Squires

Summer is here and the warm weather has finally arrived! The increasing temperatures mean more trips to the pool and beach. While sunbathing by the water is relaxing (just make sure you’re sporting your SPF), remember the pool or ocean can be a great place to exercise on a hot summer day! Unlike going for a run or to the gym, you won’t even notice you’re sweating when you’re in the pool!

Swimming is such a good form of exercise because it has the unique ability to work your muscles without the harsh impact to your skeletal system. Swimming also works stiff muscles and sore joints, increases muscular strength, and allows a broad range of motion. As with other types of exercise, swimming also helps improve endurance, heart health, and weight control. Plus, it reduces stress – just think how much you feel like a kid when you’re splashing around in the pool and jumping waves in the ocean.

Here are a few simple exercises you can do next time you’re at the pool or beach:

  • Water Walking– This is a great basic aquatic exercise. Make sure the water is waist high for maximum resistance. For a more intense workout, try jogging in the water!
  • Resistance Exercises – Water provides a natural resistance that’s great for exercise. You can do many of the same strength training exercises in the water that you would do in a gym, such as squats, arm curls, and lunges. Pull, push, and lift against the resistance of the water!
  • Treading Water– This is a great cardiovascular exercise that will tone your muscles and get your heart rate up!

A half hour of swimming can burn 180-266 calories*! You can burn even more calories by increasing the intensity of your workout or spending more time exercising in the water. Just remember to stay hydrated during your workout!

What are your favorite pool and ocean activities?

*Stats from Harvard Health Publications

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