Beat the Heat with a Swim Workout

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a group of people in a swimming pool with floating dumbbells

When summer arrives, so do hotter temperatures. The heat can present an added challenge for those of us who enjoy exercising outdoors by means of walking, running, biking, and other aerobic activities that get the heart and lungs pumping. However, if you have access to a pool, lake, or even the ocean, you may want to consider trying swimming for the summer! Not only does it keep you cool, it’s a full-body workout that strengthens the heart and lungs and is easy on the joints.

While swimming laps is a tried and true workout, there are many other ways to get active in the water.

A few ideas include:

  • Jumping jacks: Do these as you would on land, but don’t let your arms come out of the water. Utilizing the resistance of the water is key!
  • Seal push-ups: While in a pool, place your palms on the edge and push yourself up out of the water as if you are a seal breaching on a rock. Then, using the same controlled resistance, lower yourself back down into the water. 
  • Jump squats: Standing waist-deep in water, squat low bending your knees, and then jump up as far as you can out of the water.
  • Flutter kicks: Hold on to the edge of a pool or a flotation device and flutter kick your legs behind you, with your body facing either upward or downward. Both are effective at working the muscle groups in your legs.
  • Tread water: In water deeper than your height, see how long you can tread water using your arms and legs. If you prefer, you can wear a lifejacket to stay afloat while moving your arms and legs in a treading motion.

Aside from individual exercises, group aquatic fitness classes can be found at many community pools and fitness centers. These classes can stretch beyond basic water aerobics and include classes such as aquatic dance, aquatic boxing, and aquatic yoga, among many other kinds of movement. There are also often classes tailored to those with specific concerns such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. I encourage you to try a few, explore a new kind of movement, and find one that you enjoy.

If you struggle with exercising outside in the summer heat like I do, swimming is a great alternative to try to switch up your exercise routine and support your overall health. Whether you swim on your own, in a group class, or with family and friends, keep it fun and enjoy the summer sun!

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