My last post was about exercise. If you read it, you already know I’m not a big fan.
BUT, I love the water. Pools in general, but I also love the ocean. I spent a great deal of my youth living close to the ocean... For a time I lived one block away from the sand and the surf.
Speaking of surfing...when I was a freshman in high school I actually tried to be a surfer! Kind of...if there is such a thing as an Atlantic City NJ “surfer”. A friend had a surfboard, and chubby little me took it out and tried surfing. I finally quit when I took it out after the summer season during the time JELLYFISH were spawning (or whatever it is they do in the fall). I had no idea. There I was, swimming out to make my feeble attempt at being a cowabunga king, when a wave rolled up, filled with little baseball sized jellyfish. The wave hit me, and I was pelted with a barrage of those scary clear monsters. No more surfing for me. I do pools...period.
Pools. When you think of pools— using pools to get healthy— you think swimming...right? Confession: even though I love...LOVE...the water, I am a terrible swimmer. Don’t get me wrong, I can doggie paddle at what I modestly think is near olympic level, but “real” swimming… nope. I stink...or more appropriately, sink. But I use a pool almost everyday now as the main part of my fitness plan because…
Pools are not just for swimming anymore!
If it wasn’t for the pool at my gym (and the pools in hotel rooms I stay at while my band is on tour) I probably would not get much exercise. Exercise has to come in one of three forms for me to do it…
- It’s fun… like playing sports, a game, dancing, etc.
- It’s something I have to do anyway, like walking to a destination (parking the car, going to the mall), cleaning the house, walking the dog, taking out the trash...You get it right?
- Something that makes me feel good instantly… For me being in the water does that.
So I ended up in the pool, mostly to relieve stress and to get my back not to hurt. When I went to my new heart doctor, he wanted me to exercise, but only in the pool! Again, I’m not a swimmer, but I came up with an exercise program/routine that works for me. If you are not big on swimming, you might find my daily (4-6 days a week) routine interesting too. Here is what I do…
- START OFF IN THE HOT TUB. For me this is a must. I stay in for 15 minutes. It loosens up everything. I think it gets the toxins out and heats up my body, so that when I get in the cold water, it kinda jumpstarts my metabolism and wakes me up.
- In the shallow end of the pool, I walk for about 5-10 minutes, keeping my hands in the pool, moving them with hands open to create resistance.
- Marching: lifting legs up as high as possible and bending arms, moving faster, 5-10 minutes.
- Run, sprint, jog as fast as I can go to the deep end.
- Once in the deep end, I hold the ladder with two hands and pull my knees up to my tummy 100 times! This really helps to eliminate back pain for me.
- Next I float, stretch my back and neck, and with my hands behind my head I do 10-20 leg lifts.
- Holding on to the ladder or rope, I do 10-20 core twists. Hold knees to tummy and rotate legs back and forth.
- Run, jog, sprint as fast as I can back to the shallow end.
- Stretch legs, calves, and do 10-20 water push ups on the side of the pool.
- On my way out, I do 10-20 stepper-like exercises on the pool stairs
There you go: my routine. About 30-60 minutes, depending on what I do that day. Exercise is important. Moving and getting your blood circulating is a must... so is being flexible. I found something I can do. It makes me feel good. I remember when watching all the hard core swimmers just got me depressed. I knew I would never be like that, but this I can do. Remember, I am not a doctor, nutritionist, trainer or any other health professional, I’m a guitar player… Never take health advice from a musician...never ever! I offer this info to let you know what I do and what is possible.
I look and feel so much better since I realized pools are not just for swimming anymore!