Now that sweater season has come to a close, it’s time to break out the swimsuits once again. You may be a bit behind in your fitness regimen, but don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. As you look forward to days out in the water (whether in a pool, lake, or ocean), here are some creative ways to get fit. You’ll soon be feeling body-confident while having fun.
Rowing has a reputation among athletes as one of the more unexpectedly rigorous sports. It provides an impressive cardio and resistance workout that, when paced safely, will leave you feeling more powerful each day. Not only does it work all major muscle groups, but it also takes you on the scenic route while you’re exercising.
The most ambitious way to get involved is to join a rowing organization. These teams are set up for competition and therefore are intensive.
Scheduled practices can keep you focused, but if you prefer setting your own pace, you can use your own boat. Depending on the duration of your exercise, this can provide a similar cardio workout with more independence. You can also take your boat on any body of water (with a license, if needed) at your convenience.
2. Stand-Up Paddleboarding
If you prefer a lower-impact but similar workout, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) may be the perfect choice for you. Different types of paddle boards provide for different styles of paddling, offering newcomers a lot of flexibility to hone their personal technique. Many people paddle for a calm, sun-filled day at sea, but a racing board also allows for a vigorous workout.
Alongside its sun-tanning opportunities, SUP is a great way to improve balance and core strength. This improvement is gradual but consistent — so low-impact, in fact, that you can paddleboard for hours at a time without tiring. The current’s force challenges the muscles in your lower body while also keeping them relaxed enough to avoid leg pain. It won’t be long before you can feel yourself getting sturdier.
3. Water Aerobics
Now that you’ve experienced water as a workout element, you may consider doing a water-based aerobics routine. This can be done in any body of water and can even be similar to your regular workout. The only difference is the resistance that the water provides.
Jumping jacks, for example, become much more demanding in shallow water. Running will be more difficult for shorter distances. Specific water aerobics routines are also more accessible for those with heart and joint issues. They necessitate the same level of effort while keeping pressure off the joints and your temperature down.
The most beneficial aspect of water aerobics is its versatility — you can do it in a pool, lake, or ocean. It also requires less equipment (if any) and no payment or license other than access to said body of water. You can reap these benefits through a workout class, but it is not necessary to join one to see results.
4. Water Skiing
Anybody who attended summer camp as a child knows the rush that water skiing brings! The excitement is always palpable. While water skiing is a classic recreational activity, it also provides health benefits for the adrenaline junkie in all of us.
Like paddleboarding, water skiing requires a primary focus on balance. The faster your speed, the more difficult that balance is to maintain, but also the more fun it is!
Many different parts of your body play that balancing role, particularly your core and joints. The pressure this puts on these body parts is not to be underestimated, but the danger of overexertion is low. Once the boat gets up to speed, you only need to keep your balance steady. The resulting muscle tension will only improve your strength, and the water spray will keep you cool.
5. Water Sports
A water game like pool basketball is not only an invigorating activity, but it can also be used as a fitness exercise. Grab some friends and equipment and schedule out a time slot every week or so to play water sports.
If you don’t have equipment, embrace your inner child and play touch-based games like tag or sharks and minnows. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have — and how exhausted you’ll be once it’s over. Framing your water exercise as playtime is a great way to keep yourself engaged in the workout.
Outside of a pool, sports like basketball and water polo are more difficult to play. Other games, such as football or volleyball, might be more suited to the beach. A raucous game of shallow-water football will definitely get your blood pumping and leave you feeling the physical exertion.
For those who want to move freely on the ocean or a lake, windsurfing is the perfect activity for exercise and excitement. Alongside the resistance of the water, windsurfing also involves the unpredictability of the wind. These factors require strength and precision and entail a lot of full-body effort to control the movement of the board. Coordination is key, and if you find you have less than you need, practice will build it up in no time.
Windsurfing also requires enhanced endurance, which can put it out of the running for less extreme sportspeople. Luckily, many newer boards are designed to make surfing easier to manage. If you are looking for an easy start, then a beginner’s board is essential for immediate enjoyment.
Everyone has their own favorite water-based activity. Many can be quite exhausting! Because of this, it is important to keep hydrated. You should also take the proper precautions so you can enjoy your favorite water activity safely.
For higher-impact activities, make sure to wear a life vest as well as a tether to keep your equipment close. You’ll want a lifeguard or a buddy to watch out for you in the water and any required licenses to be up-to-date. Once these safeguards are in place, you’ll be ready to have an exciting day of exercise out on the water!