Don’t let the winter cold get in the way of keeping fit! While many of us will have shut down our pools for the cold season, some will keep their pools open (even with the cold!) to continue their fitness routines even with the cold water!
Is cold water bad for you?
Scientifically, unless the water is absolutely freezing, cold water can actually be very good for you! Here are some benefits of swimming in cold water:
- The initial “shock” of jumping into cold water can actually cause a rush of endorphins into your system, which if you didn’t know, causes that feeling of happiness! (sort of like eating indulgent food or getting something that you really wanted!)
- Your body will try to compensate for the cold temperature by increasing your circulation, which in turn will flush out impurities and toxins in your system.
- Swimming and exercising in cold water burns more calories than swimming! Due to the increased blood circulation and your body trying to compensate, you’ll burn more calories!
- Swimming in cold water reduces stress! Yes, this can be a little bit subjective, but if you’re busy trying to keep warm, you’ll actually forget about the things that are stressing you in life!
- Some studies show that cool (not icy cold!) water boosts your immune system! This is probably connected to the fact that your circulation is increased when swimming in cool water!
What if I don’t like cool or cold water?
There are actually a couple of ways you can warm up your pool if you want to keep your swimming exercise regimen active over the winter. We’ve gone through those options in depth in other posts but here are the options that are available to Australian pool owners:
- Energy Efficient Pool Heat Pumps - We just love heat pumps. They practically cost a fraction to run when compared with your traditional pool heaters and they’re perfect for our relatively mild Australian winters.
- A Daisy Pool Cover - While these won’t actively heat up your pool to summer-warm levels, they can add a couple of degrees to your pool water so that it won’t be -too- cold when you jump in!
- Traditional Pool Heaters - If the on-going cost of heating your pool isn’t an issue or if you need to warm up your pool quickly for those impromptu swimming sessions then gas pool heaters might be a good option.
There are also other options that allow you to heat up your pool on the cheap which you can check out here.
What exercises can you do in a cold swimming pool?
Well, the easy answer to that is, all of them! There’s nothing really preventing you from doing all of your regular pool exercises when the water is cold! In fact, cold water will increase the effectivity of your pool exercises!
Swimsportz Swim Trainer Pool Resistance Personal Belt
This is probably one of the best swimming accessories that we can recommend for pools of all sizes, well, especially if you have a smaller pool! A swimming pool tether will allow you to virtually swim laps while staying in one location. Not only that, but it can help older folks walk and jog in place! Much better than just holding on to the edge of your pool and trying to swim in place, or interrupting your swimming because you’ve already reached the edge of your pool and you’re trying to turn around!
Life Fitness Kit Pool Ankle Weights & Dumbbells
This kit will allow you to do a little bit of weight training in your pool which is low impact but high in energy burning potential! Not only that, but they’re safe to be used in the pool since there are no exposed metal parts! If you try bringing your regular dumbbells in the pool then you’re going to have a problem with metal particles and surface damage on your pool!
Another exercise that you can do in your pool during winter is to basically stand around and try to balance on one foot (tiptoes as well!) while this doesn’t seem like much of an exercise, this actually works a lot of muscles in your body! The micro movements in the water will cause your body to keep on adjusting (muscle movements) and these tiny movements will help develop your balance and burn up some calories as well!
If swimming alone can already burn a lot of calories, then what more for aerobics right? In fact, an hour-long aqua aerobic workout can burn up to 500 calories! This is even more than your traditional aerobic workout in the gym! The reason for this is that your pool water offers natural resistance making your body exert more effort, and in turn burn more calories, without you actually feeling it. Many people even say that aqua aerobics are easier than doing it on the surface! It’s also good for people with joint problems as the water’s natural buoyancy will cushion the impact on the joints!
And the good thing? If you have less than perfect balance, you don’t have to worry about falling flat on your face which in turn will increase your flexibility! You can stretch and do maneuvers that you won’t usually risk doing on the surface since there’s no danger of falling down!
Here’s a quick aerobic workout you can do at the pool!
- Walking in place - 2 minutes (warm up)
- Jog in place - 1 minute
- High Kicks - 1 minute
- Jumping Jacks - 1 minute
- Side Kicks - 1 minute
- Rest - 1-2 minutes (not too long! You want to maintain your heartrate)
- Squat jumps - 1 minute
- Jumping lunges - 1 minute
- Water boxing - 1 minute
- Jog in place - 1 minute
- Go back to step one, try to do three steps!
P.S. Incorporate ankle weights in your aerobic workout to increase efficiency! Build strength and endurance at the same time!
Don’t let the winter blues get you out of shape! Remember, health doesn’t take a break, and since you already have a pool, then make the most of it! And if you really dislike swimming in cold water, then maybe a pool heat pump is in your future! Pool heat pumps are Mr Pool Man's choice when it comes to warming up your pool because it doesn't break the bank when it comes to on-going heating costs. Yeah, the upfront costs may be a little bit steep, but this more than pays for itself in savings when compared to traditional electric or gas heaters!
Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Happy swimming :)