summer safety

3 Pool Exercises That Won't Embarrass You

woman swimming in a poolYou've heard it time and again: water exercise is a great way to build fitness, flexibility and strength without straining your joints. But, let's face it, some of us feel a little self-conscious about working out in a pool.

Kay Smiley, aquatics specialist for YMCA of the USA, suggests these easy pool exercises to burn calories, improve balance and tone your body without drawing a lot of attention to yourself:

Exercise 1: Pool Walk

  • Walk heel-to-toe across the pool, swinging opposite arm and leg (as you swing your right arm forward, step forward on your left leg).
  • When you reach the opposite side, walk backward, using toe-to-heel steps. (Or just walk the return lap facing forward.)
  • Option: March across the pool, lifting your knees with each step.

Exercise 2: Scissor Arms

  • Cross your arms in front of your body at hip level.
  • Move each arm behind your back, one at a time, and recross them.
  • Return arms to front, one at a time, and recross.
  • Repeat, alternating left arm over right, then right arm over left.
  • Option: Wear webbed gloves, designed to add resistance and help with balance.

Exercise 3: Side Stretches

  • Hands on hips, bend slowly to one side.
  • Return slowly to standing position.
  • Repeat on opposite side.
  • Option: Stretch arms out to your sides before bending.

Remember to exercise in shallow water if you're not a swimmer. Always swim when a lifeguard is present.