First things first — if you’re going to be getting fit in the pool, you’re going to need a swimsuit that does more than look good. Whether you’re swimming laps, participating in an aqua Zumba class or using a jogging belt to log miles in the pool, you don’t want to be worrying about adjusting your suit — or worse, having it slip off. We like this bold patterned performance one-piece with built-in wireless support. (Athleta, $79)
If you don’t have a pool of your own, you’ll need to head elsewhere to get your aqua fitness fix. That means a convenient way to transport your swimming essentials is in order. Look for a bag that’s roomy but not too big and contains mesh pockets for your wet bathing suit. The REI Balance Gym Bag has a separate compartment that is vented and seam-sealed with waterproof fabric, making it perfect for getting damp bathing suits home. (REI, $60)
Goggles are not essential, but many people prefer wearing them so the chlorine doesn’t irritate their eyes. If that sounds like you, look for some that are not only durable but comfortable. You don’t want the focus to be more on how tight your goggles are than on your workout. Try Speedo’s Hydrostream goggles for a comfy, well-cushioned fit. (Speedo, $20)
Regular towels are fine for the bath, but if you want to get in and out of the gym post-swim efficiently, an extra-absorbent sports towel will be more your speed. The full size REI MultiTowel comes in its own carry pouch and can absorb up to eight times its weight in water. (REI, $31)
No time to wash and restyle your hair after your pool workout? That’s not a problem with the right swim cap — one that will protect your hair from chlorine while ensuring you don’t need to blow-dry after your dip. Keep your hair dry with the help of a bold turquoise swim cap. (Target, $10)
If you’ll be doing your water workouts outdoors, sunscreen will be a mainstay in your gym bag. Look for a waterproof product that’s gentle and offers broad spectrum protection. We like Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray. (drugstore.com, $9)
Pool workouts can be more than doing laps. Why not stay cool and burn calories by jogging in the water? You can do it easily with a jogging belt, which is a device that keeps you buoyant while you “run” in the water. Stay afloat and comfortable with the Speedo Hydro Resistant Jog Belt. (Speedo, $44)
Smaller pools aren’t conducive to swimming laps, but you can fix that problem with the help of a swimming tether, which allows you to get the benefit of swimming laps (without going anywhere), no matter how small your pool is. Swim Tether Original is easy to use and it's portable, making it a great choice for business travelers or anyone who wants to take their swim workout on the road. (Swim Tether, $189)
Improve your stroke and build strength with the help of hand paddles, which can also increase your speed and efficiency in the water. Get started with Speedo swim paddles, which are contoured to fit any hand and offer a comfortable way to enhance your swimming workout. (Swimoutlet.com, $15)
You listen to music while you jog or while working out at the gym, so why not in the pool? Stay motivated with your favorite tunes, with a waterproof MP3 player like the compact, affordable XTREAMP3, which holds up to 250 songs. (finis.com, $40)
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