Everyone into the pool…(or get out of the pool!)

One of my favorite things about summer is starting to swim again. I am a bit of an “indoor pool snob”, so I boycott pools in the winter but I do love to swim laps underneath a sunny blue sky. After months of running this year, my 4 mile loop in my neighborhood has become second nature for me. Perhaps it is because I am in such great shape? Well, stepping into the pool a couple weeks ago taught me otherwise! I clearly never use my arms or shoulders when I run, nor am I trying to hold my breath underwater. The first 20 laps were exhausting, and I finally began to hit my stride after a few trip to the pool.

This time of year, I encourage everyone to get OUTSIDE and take your workouts into nature. Even more importantly, try something different. A workout your body is not accustomed to doing. If you go to cycling classes 3x a week, join me in the pool. OR if you swim indoors all winter, dust off your bike and take it for a ride. Treadmill classes at the gym are incredibly challenging, and a great workout, but why not try a jog on the beach with a friend. Running in the sand is really challenging. (With a hat and a lot of sunscreen please–you knew I was going to say that!).

Our bodies do not “embrace” being challenged; they like a routine. However, we also burn fewer calories and no longer see the same results if we do the same type of exercise week after week. Take advantage of summer to try a new form of exercise. Swimming is incredibly challenging for your shoulders, back, arms, and even your core–those are muscle groups you probably aren’t using often if you’re a runner. Mix it up! And most importantly, have fun. You are never going to stick to an exercise regimen if you don’t enjoy it. Let me know how you do…

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