There’s no time like summer to enjoy the outdoors while hitting your fitness goals. With bright sunshine, longer days, and warmer weather for months on end, getting up and moving is easier than ever. Of course, in the heat and humidity of Texas, that comes with a lot of sweat. So at Union Park by Hillwood, a new home community in Little Elm, Texas, we recommend keeping your workouts hot while keeping your body cool… in the pool!

Whether swimming, water walking, or performing simple aerobic movements, working out in water adds significant resistance to even the simplest motions. This helps increase strength, endurance, and flexibility — all while adding support for muscles and joints, which drastically reduces your risk of injury. This makes water workouts the exercise of choice for those who want the benefits of a solid cardiovascular session, with the toning and strength gains provided by a light weight training program.

So whichever pool workout is right for you, read on and jump in: the water’s fine!*

Warming Up

When it comes to preparing for your pool workout, it’s important to warm up muscles and joints. Start with five to 10 minutes of light dynamic stretching. If performing a walking or aerobics workout, warm up in chest-high water with three to five minutes of light jogging in place. If swimming, two to four laps at an easy pace will prepare you for a more strenuous workout.

And don’t forget to hydrate beforehand! Even though you’re in water and may not notice, a pool workout is still a workout — you’ll still sweat.

Water Walking

One of the simplest pool workouts is water walking. Just like any other walking workout, you can adjust the session by length, speed, and distance depending on your goals and fitness level. Here are a few simple programs:

  • Easy
    • Five minutes walking, one minute jogging in place. Repeat for three rounds.
  • Medium
    • Six minutes walking, two minutes jogging in place, one minute jogging through water. Repeat for four rounds.
  • Advanced
    • Six minutes walking, three minutes jogging in place, two minutes jogging through water. Repeat for five rounds.
  • For added resistance at any level, hold a kickboard vertically in front of you as you walk.

Lap Swimming: How to Start Swimming for Exercise

Swimming is associated with plenty of longevity and health benefits, which is one reason it’s so popular.  In fact, it’s the fourth most popular recreational sport in the country. And the best part is, even if you’re a beginner, a swimming workout routine is easy to start.

Example Workout

  • Warmup (five minutes flutter kick with a kickboard at your own pace)
  • First Half: 4 x 100 yards alternating freestyle (down) and backstroke (back),
    • 15 seconds rest between laps
  • 60 seconds rest
  • Second Half: 6 x 100 yards alternating sprint freestyle (down) and easy backstroke (back)
    • 15 seconds rest between laps
  • Perform this workout 2x
    • This structure can be used to create workouts ranging from beginner to advanced. As you build up your endurance over time, increase the intensity to find the right workout for you.

Water Aerobics

If you don’t know how to swim** or simply prefer not to, water aerobics are an excellent alternative. They offer all the benefits of a water workout, and don’t require any advanced technical movements.

Example Workout

  • Warmup: two minutes of high knees walking/jogging in place
  • Tricep Dips x15
  • Squat Jumps x20
  • Arm Curls x15
  • Leg Curls x20
  • Jumping Jacks x15
  • Knee Lifts x20

Frequently Asked Questions About Swimming as a Workout

How many calories are burned by treading water?

Treading water is an easy way to up your body’s metabolic rate in a low-impact environment. It can burn around 11 calories per minute, depending on your age, height and weight.

How many calories are burned swimming?

Depending on the length of the workout and the intensity of the stroke, swimming can burn anywhere between 400-700 calories per hour for a 150-pound swimmer.

Is it OK to swim every day?

Yes! Due to the low-impact nature of water workouts, the wear and tear on your joints is significantly less than standard workouts.

Does swimming burn more calories than walking?

Yes, swimming is generally a more intense activity than walking, leading to a greater calorie burn. For example, a 150-pound person walking at two mph for 30 minutes burns an average of 95 The same person swimming at a moderate pace for the same amount of time burns around 200 calories.

Explore the New Homes and Workout Amenities at Union Park by Hillwood

If you’re looking for a new home community that caters to your active lifestyle, take a look at Union Park by Hillwood in Little Elm! Amongst our many amenities, our two resort style pools are perfect for water workouts of all kinds, and our community fitness classes are a great place to get started no matter your skill level. To explore all the possibilities, browse for new homes online, drop by in person, take a virtual tour, or get in touch here!

*Before starting any new workout program, be sure to consult your physician.

** Inexperienced swimmers should not undertake a water exercise program without a lifeguard present and should use an approved aquatic flotation device.