John Basedow: Swimming your way into shape is a simple no impact way to get the body of your dreams. Whether you stick to laps or enroll in a class, everyday you swim is a day closer to being fit. Here are my favorite ways to get in shape in the pool. Swimming laps is the most common form of aquatic exercise. Challenge yourself everyday to improve your time. Start with just 10 minutes a day and work your way up to 30 minutes or more. Worried about monotony, mix up the traditional overhand stroke with the breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke, you will keep things fresh and target even more areas of your body.
If laps are too boring or too much of a challenge, consider water aerobics. These well-impact routines improve balance, strengthen muscles, and provide a safe alternative for the less experienced or elderly exercisers. Put together a routine of your favorite aerobic exercises, then do them in the water. Jumping jacks, squats, and high kneeing are all popular and effective.
Running in the pool is a fitness technique even a child can enjoy, but adding a weighted core ball makes it a true challenge. With core ball in hand, run as fast as you can across the pool. While this sounds easy, just wait till you try it. The water is fighting against your muscles without adding strain. As you improve, try running faster or carrying more weight.
To the fitness fan, the pool is for more than just cooling off. Find the aquatic workout that fits your lifestyle. You can sweat all you want, and get refreshing exercise you will really look forward to.