After a recent Instagram post I wrote about running, I heard from several people who are injured or “rehabbing” and sidelined from running this summer. Do not despair! Pool running is an excellent non-impact workout, and is easily as challenging as running on pavement— you will not lose your cardiovascular fitness! Additionally, it provides a FULL body workout as the water creates resistance for your arms, legs, and core. While traditional running is a great workout for the large muscle groups in your lower half (glutes and quads), pool running incorporates your upper body strength as well, plus abs and back. That is pretty impressive.
Start by walking a few lengths in the low end of a swimming pool, and build up to a slow run. Gradually increasing your pace as you become more confident. You can take breaks when needed and do some “high knee lifts”, which will keep your heart rate up. You can also wear a flotation device and run in place in the deep end if you don’t like the sensation of the bottom of the pool on your feet or have a foot injury. If you are skeptical, trust me, this is a workout!
Another great option is treading water for 20-30 minutes in a lake or the ocean. There is literally no “side” or wall to hold onto, so you are a human flotation device, with only your arms and legs to keep you afloat! Bring a friend—for company and safety. It is equally socializing and a kick ass workout. Everybody in the water!