We decided to put a swimming pool in our backyard two years ago, and it was one of the best investments we have ever made. The enjoyment we have gotten out of our pool has been priceless, even with our short Buffalo summers. What I didn’t expect was how much the pool would enhance my exercise routine. In the summer, I still teach fitness classes four days a week at my local gym. I also like to go for short outdoor runs. Once we got the pool, I found myself starting to use it as another way to sneak in exercise as well.
This post is not just for people with swimming pools in their own backyards, however. You can benefit from my tips here by using a pool at your local gym or even a town community pool.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for both cardio purposes and toning up. The great thing about swimming is that anyone can do it, especially those of you with injuries that prevent you from doing high-impact cardio moves. Water provides great resistance that is easy on the joints. However, don’t be fooled by how easy swimming seems. It is actually really difficult exercise if you are doing it purposefully. I learned this quickly after we got the pool, when I thought I would swim ten laps on my first try. When you swim, you are going to really get your heart rate up and work your muscles in crazy new ways. Just make sure you set realistic expectations for yourself, and build up to anything that is too difficult, just like with any new exercise routine.