The Beauty of Low-Impact Water Workouts
By Kate Gardner
There are a million reasons why swimming could be the best workout for you. Maybe you don't like Zumba or maybe your joints can't take jogging anymore. Whatever the reason, swimming offers a low-impact alternative that is a lot of fun. If you've never used swimming as part of your workout lineup, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some ideas and suggestions to get you started working out in the water.
Get in Gear
You don't need a lot of gear to swim. If you've got a pool to work out in, you're halfway there. You'll need a swimsuit, of course, but a pair of goggles can come in handy too. A swim cap will help keep your hair dry and protect it from becoming too damaged by the chlorinated water. You can also get special earplugs for swimming if you don't like the feeling of water in your ears. Most gym pools will have other items you can use for your workout.
Kickboards - Kickboards support your upper body, allowing you to focus on your legs. This can be a good alternative for people who aren't ready to swim regular laps.
Pull floats - A pull float is a piece of shaped foam that goes between your legs, helping them to float. This allows you to shift the focus to your upper body.
Dumbbells - Water dumbbells are foam-based weights that provide resistance for your water workout without sinking.
The classic water workout is swimming laps. To get the most of your swim, make a list beforehand of how many laps you'll swim and how fast. Shape.com provides a breakdown of lap swimming workouts based on your skill level. If you're not ready to swim regular laps, there are modifications that can help. Using kickboards and pull floats can help you gain confidence and strength while also providing support.
If swimming laps isn't your thing, there are a number of different cardio and strength training classes you can take in the pool, and they're all low-impact.
Water aerobics - Just about any aerobic class on land can be done in the water.
Water jogging - You won't go as fast as you would on land, but jogging in water provides a ton of calorie-burning resistance.
Water strength training - From barre to Pilates, many strength training workouts are being modified to be done in the pool.
According to WebMD.com, water aerobics can rev up your heart rate and help build muscle strength. It's important to note these workouts burn a lot of calories because of the amazing resistance provided by the water, but they are slower than your usual aerobics class. It may take a few classes to get used to the different speed. But rest assured, you're still getting a good workout!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.