Your pool is more than a relaxation spot, it can help you get fit and live healthier this summer. Everyone knows how to use a pool to stay in shape, but it’s hard to find the motivation. Whether you haven’t swam laps since you were a child, or you are recovering from injury, this will help you find the motivation you need to get in the pool and get in shape.
When your kids take a break from cannon balls and swan dives, you can use your pool to improve mobility, muscle development and cardiovascular conditioning. How, you ask? Swim laps.
It’s obvious, and easy to start, but maintaining a regular swimming routine takes hard work and motivation. Here are some tactics to help you stay on top of it:
Start small – If you haven’t swam laps in a while, don’t start with a goal of 50 laps per day. Slowly build your routine. Start with a goal of five laps per day, three days per week. This is easy enough that you won’t feel overwhelmed and give up, but significant enough to make a difference. After two weeks, move up to 10 laps. As this gets easier, increase the frequency.
Keep track – Record how long it takes you to finish a lap, or a certain number of laps, each day. Make a goal to decrease this time each week. The more you swim, the faster you’ll become. Seeing your speed increase will motivate you to be faster next time, keeping you consistent with the routine.
Compete with others – You don’t have to register in swim meets to find motivation in competing. You can hold one in your own house. Have a just-for-fun competition within your family. Keep track of lap times and reward those who increase their times each week. This makes a swimming routine fun for the whole family.
Find the tactic that works for you, and use your swimming routine to get back in shape this summer.
Underwater fitness routines:
If past injuries have prevented you from getting back in shape, your pool can help. Working out underwater reduces impact and stress on your joints. Athletes of all sports use water to recover from injuries and get back in the game. You can too:
Walking – Lower body injuries, such as knee injuries, make it difficult to do simple tasks, like walking. If you want to train your body to get used to these tasks, do them underwater. Walk around the shallow end of your pool every day. The water reduces stress on your joints, while slowly getting your body used to the motions. Soon, you will be able to walk with ease.
Plyometrics – A great way to improve power and conditioning, plyometrics consist of explosive exercises such as box jumps, jump squats and explosive push ups, among many other exercises. Injuries make these exercises very difficult. Water can make it easier on your body. Start with simple jumps underwater. It will feel much harder to move yourself in water, but your joints will take less of the stress, allowing your body to recover quickly.
There is so much you can do in your pool to get back in shape this summer. Whether you lack experience in swimming, or you’re suffering from injury, your pool can help you overcome these obstacles and improve your health.