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The pool is a great place to burn calories — here's how

Some of the best summer memories revolve around the swimming pool. Kids have fun frolicking while adults enjoy the water’s therapeutic qualities to relax
and unwind.

But for those who take full advantage of its benefits, water offers an invigorating workout that can’t be paralleled on land.

Water fitness uses the water’s resistance to turn simple movements like jogging or arm circles into a killer cardiac and strength-building workout. It can burn up to 300 calories per half hour, is easy on the joints and can be modified to fit all levels of physical ability. And the best part — no equipment or athletic prowess is required.

“People of all ages and fitness levels can benefit from water fitness,” says Sheryl Baker, a health educator for Ascension Via Christi.

The benefits of water fitness include:

  • Anyone can do it
  • Low-weight bearing
  • High calorie burner
  • Low fall risk
  • Increases circulation
  • Cardio workout
  • Improves flexibility and range of motion
  • Resistance provides strength training

Exercises are done in waist- to chestdeep water and combine kicks, jumps, punches and other movements. For
additional resistance, use water dumbbells, ankle weights or hand paddles. Confident swimmers can burn about 10 calories a minute just by treading water.

Many group classes are available but you can do water fitness any time you have access to a pool. Make family memories by playing water polo or volleyball, or try water walking in the ocean on a vacation getaway, Baker suggests.

She encourages business travelers to pack their bathing suit along with their business suit. Even busy moms can squeak in some exercise as they supervise splashing children.

So, rather than dangle your feet in the water next time you’re at the pool, hop in and kick up your heels — literally. You’ll emerge refreshed.

“The goal,” Baker says, “is to move and have fun.”