Most people living in Utah head outdoors for their fitness fix, but some of us don’t have the time to plan and prep. Or you might be recovering from illness or injury; getting back to full health and regaining confidence in your body movements can be tough. If you have a home swimming pool then you can do a low impact workout in a safe environment, even if you can’t swim.
Water walking is a simple and excellent starting exercise. With the water at waist or chest level, walk as you normally would on land, using the resistance of the water to strengthen your muscles. As you become accustomed to the exercise, you can slowly increase your speed and eventually go into jogging motion.
Using water webs, you can perform basic arm movements while using the resistance of the water to develop strength, and its buoyancy to lessen the risk of injury. Stand in waist-to-chest-high water, swing your arms straight forward and backward up to the surface while maintaining good posture. You can grip water weights to increase difficulty later on.
With care, you can stand on one leg to develop and improve your balance. Stand against the wall or keep it within arm’s reach for safety. Slowly raise one knee as if marching, then straighten your leg in front of you up to hip level. A water noodle under the working leg can be used to increase resistance.
Exercise for recovery
It’s important to first consult your therapist or physician before performing any exercise, even in the safety of your home pool. If you are recovering from an injury, your body might be moving differently than you’re used to, in order to compensate for temporary muscular weakness. This can increase the risk of slipping and further injury if you’re not careful. The resistance of the water also makes exercises more difficult than you might expect. Wearing water shoes will add more traction and lessen the difficulty of movement and chances of slipping.
Staying hydrated is also important, as with any type of exercise. The cool water can make it more difficult to notice when you’ve become thirsty from your exertions. Keep track of time, and pay attention to your body’s signals – never push through the pain when you’re rehabbing from injury.
If you don’t have a pool at home, you do have the option of working out at a local swimming pool or signing up for water aerobics classes. Some would prefer not to use public pools for this purpose, however. You can also look into installing a pool on your property. It’s a great investment that raises the value of the property and serves the added function of being a venue for gatherings of family, friends, and other guests.
Most concrete or vinyl pools are planned with a contractor to determine the custom size and shape that works for the property and can be limited for small or medium-sized properties. For many Utah homes, fiberglass pools are perfect because of the ease of installation, and the absence of long-term maintenance. Simply select the model that best fits your property and have your contractor dig a hole where the pool will be installed. As opposed to concrete and vinyl-lined pools, the surface of fiberglass is durable and impermeable, requiring fewer chemicals to treat the water and little to no resurfacing.
Take a break from the outdoors and the daily grind – doing swimming pool exercises is a great way to improve your strength and balance, and recover while in the privacy and safety of your home.