Do you love being in the water but find swimming laps insufferably boring? If so, you’re far from alone. But don’t worry - there are plenty of ways to work out in water that don’t involve swimming up and down in lanes.
Here are four of our favorites:
Walking in the Water
If you’re not a confident swimmer or want to break up your lap swimming routine, walking in water is a great and easy option. The water adds resistance, giving you a great strength and cardiovascular workout that challenges your whole body. It’s also low-impact, making it a safe option for people with joint or knee problems.
There is such a thing as a water treadmill, but they’re very expensive so relatively few gyms have them. But if yours does, then give it a go.
Water aerobics is usually performed in water that is waist-deep or slightly deeper (like the shallow end of your swimming pool) and involves little if any swimming. Instead, you perform aerobic exercises in the water, which adds resistance and makes the moves more challenging.
Many fitness centers offer water aerobics classes. An instructor will take you through a routine, often set to music. These can be a fun way to exercise with others and get feedback on your form and technique to ensure you’re performing the exercises safely.
You can also find instructions for specific moves online and devise your own water aerobics routine.
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is having a moment in a big way. This type of exercise involves quick bursts of intense effort interspersed with lower intensity active rest periods. HIIT gets your heart and lungs working hard, burns fat, and tones muscles.
Try it yourself by alternating swimming at your normal pace with bouts of all-out effort where you go as fast as you possibly can. Another variation on pool HIIT is to perform water aerobics moves at your maximum effort for short bursts, taking an active rest in between each set.
Wild swimming, sometimes called natural swimming, involves swimming in bodies of water that are not specially designed pools. This might include lakes, rivers, oceans, and so on. Wild swimming is a wonderful way to enjoy nature and the great outdoors, swimming in beautiful surroundings while getting your workout in.
Wild swimming does carry some risks and we recommend only attempting it if you’re already a strong swimmer. Being in very cold water for long periods of time can be risky, so listen to your body. Rocks, waterfalls, and dirty water also present potential hazards. We recommend joining a wild swimming club or doing your research online to find safe places to swim outdoors in your area.
A little more planning is required than going down to your local pool, but the rewards can be immense.
Enjoy your swimming!