Dive In To Get Fit
Staying fit doesn’t have to mean slogging away on the treadmill or sweating it out in a cardio class. Now that it’s summer and the heat is on, some of us are partial to hitting the pool as a way to burn calories (while staying cool) and get our fitness fix. But just what does working out in the water have to offer? Quite a bit, as it turns out.
To learn more about making the most of your time in the pool, we turned to celebrity trainer and fitness expert Jay Cardiello. He shares his insights into the many benefits of water workouts and tips for revving up your swim sessions.
Swimming: Body benefits
Aside from making us feel great, swimming has many benefits that make us want to don our favorite suit and dive in -- and Cardiello shared seven of the most significant:
Getting started: The ideal water workout
Quick tip: Try the Go Swim app (free for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) to further improve your pool time. The handy app offers swimming tips, videos, drills, workouts and more to help keep you motivated.
Not sure where what to do once you dive in? Start with a slow swim anywhere from 200 to 400 meters to warm up -- a must if you want to get an effective water workout, says Cardiello. Next, pick a stroke you like (front crawl, breast stroke) and implement a fun interval training workout. “This will keep intensity high, while avoiding a burnout,” he advises. Try alternating between a faster stroke for two minutes and a slower pace for 45 to 60 seconds, for a total of 45 minutes. Perform a cool down by swimming a few laps at a leisurely pace and finish with some static stretching after you exit the pool.
Improve your pool time: Supplement your swimming
When you’re swimming for fitness it’s important to add other exercises that will help you in the water, Cardiello advises. He shares a few other supplemental moves that will help rev up your water workout this summer.
The main thing we like about the pool (aside from the cooling break from the heat) is the fun twist it adds to our weekly workout. Whether you have a pool, join a gym that has one or hit the local swimming hole, there are a whole host of reasons to dive in.
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