You’ve heard it time and again: water exercise is a great way to build fitness, flexibility and strength without straining your joints. But, let’s face it, some of us feel a little self-conscious about working out in a pool.
Kay Smiley, aquatics specialist for YMCA of the USA, suggests these easy pool exercises to burn calories, improve balance and tone your body without drawing a lot of attention to yourself:
Exercise 1: Pool Walk
- Walk heel-to-toe across the pool, swinging opposite arm and leg (as you swing your right arm forward, step forward on your left leg).
- When you reach the opposite side, walk backward, using toe-to-heel steps. (Or just walk the return lap facing forward.)
- Option: March across the pool, lifting your knees with each step.
Exercise 2: Scissor Arms
- Cross your arms in front of your body at hip level.
- Move each arm behind your back, one at a time, and recross them.
- Return arms to front, one at a time, and recross.
- Repeat, alternating left arm over right, then right arm over left.
- Option: Wear webbed gloves, designed to add resistance and help with balance.
Exercise 3: Side Stretches
- Hands on hips, bend slowly to one side.
- Return slowly to standing position.
- Repeat on opposite side.
- Option: Stretch arms out to your sides before bending.
Remember to exercise in shallow water if you’re not a swimmer. Always swim when a lifeguard is present.