If you’ve been keeping up with the 2021 Summer Olympics, then you’ve seen some of the unique performances done in the Artistic Swimming category.  This is an embellished example of how water exercise can be fun and exciting for an everyday “performance”. Not only will you learn about some of these unique, at-home water exercises in this article, but you will also gain knowledge of how these can benefit your overall cardiovascular health. If you have experienced any health issues, please consult a cardiologist near you before changing up your existing fitness routine. CT Cardio would be happy to consult with you.

WALK IT OUT 

If you are a newcomer to cardiovascular fitness in the pool, let’s take things a little at a time. Slowly introducing your body to this new form of exercise will allow your muscles time to adapt as well as your heart. Start by just enjoying some time swimming for 5-10 minutes. This will get your heart rate elevated. We want to keep the elevation of your heart rate going by simply walking in the pool afterwards. Reward yourself for beginning to incorporate movement in a new way through cardiovascular fitness in the pool with a relaxing cool down exercise such as stretching for an additional 5-10 minutes. Continue this practice until you feel you’re ready to incorporate a little more. 

SINK DEEPER 

So, you’re ready to sink deeper into your cardiovascular fitness routine in the pool? Let’s go for it! Don’t worry, you’re still going to enjoy swimming. Begin by incorporating intermittent laps by swimming as fast as you can for one even length or lap, then swim more slowly for the same distance. Continue this practice as long as you can. Remember to listen to your body and break for water and/or walk in place in the water when needed. Your goal now is to try to reach 25 minutes a day of cardiovascular fitness in the pool. Your practice will end with a rewarding, relaxing cool down stretch of the muscles used. Continue this practice until you feel you’re ready to incorporate a little more. 

STEP BY STEP

We’ve reminded you a few times to end your cardiovascular fitness routine in the pool with a rewarding, cool down stretch. But what does that mean exactly? Here’s a step by step stretching routine you can incorporate at the end of your practice.  

STEP 1 

Enjoy swimming a few laps or at an even distance while slowing down your pace each time until you’re swimming at a leisurely pace for the last one. Have fun with it and combine backstrokes and freestyle. This will stretch out the muscles you just used in your back and neck. 

STEP 2

Grab a kickboard and swim a couple laps using fins if you’d like or without if you’d prefer while kicking backwards at a leisurely pace. Flutter kick on your stomach or back, breaststroke kick, and dolphin kick are all great techniques to use here. 

STEP 3

Turn towards the pool wall and grab a hold of the edge. Gradually walk your legs up the pool wall until your knees meet your chest. Lower your head between your shoulders to stretch out your upper and lower back. Hold this ball-like position for a few breaths. Then, flex your legs towards the bottom of the pool to point down, and let them freely dangle beneath you. Do this step twice. 

STEP 4 

Stand on the ledge of a deep pool or the bottom of a shallow pool. Now move from a standing position to being on to your “tippy toes”. You are flexing your feet from a natural standing position to an elevated position on your toes for several breaths. You will be thankful for this step later when you avoid foot cramps.

STEP 5

Time to get out of the water. Stretch your arms above your head, reaching for the sky with your fingertips flexed, pointing upwards with your elbows tucked by your ears. Then, cross your elbows behind your head while moving to the right then the left with ease at your waist. 

STEP 6

Rinse and repeat! Enjoy a warm shower and repeat this routine tomorrow. 

If you’d like to find out more about your cardiovascular health and more specific cardiovascular fitness routines you can do in the pool tailored to your body’s needs, consult with a local cardiologist near you.  Dr. Corwin Thomas and the CT Cardio’s caring team is here for all of your cardiovascular health needs in Lafayette, LA.