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Pool fitness in winter weather

Cyril Josh Barker | 12/22/2016, 11:58 a.m.
It may be wintertime, but that doesn’t mean taking a dip in the pool should be ruled out.
Medgar Evers College swimming pool Medgar Ever College photo

It may be wintertime, but that doesn’t mean taking a dip in the pool should be ruled out.

Indoor swimming pools across the city are providing opportunities for those who are looking to get fit through water aerobics, swimming and other aquatic activities.

According to a study by Bucknell University, water property allows people to do exercises that are difficult for them to do on land. Water also offers 12 to 14 percent more resistance than when exercising on land and does not allow for sudden body movements.

Those worried about “breaking a sweat” should also know that water disperses heat more efficiently, so there is less chance of overheating. The water continuously cools the body.

Recommended workouts include water walking, water aerobics, water yoga and water toning for those with little to no experience in swimming. Lap swimming is great for those who know how.

Agnes Davis, CEO of Swim Swim Swim I Say, recently held a water aerobics class in the Bronx at Hostos Community College. Davis’ company advocates for more African-American children and adults to learn how to swim and highlights the benefits of pool fitness. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 African-Americans don’t know how to swim.

“I learned how to swim at a very young age, and I’ve been a swimmer all my life,” she said. “Your body changes and you have to change with it and keep your body engaged.”

During winter, people tend to exercise less or put off fitness plans until the weather gets warmer. Although most people think of cardio and weightlifting when it comes to getting fit, Davis recommends taking a trip to your local indoor pool to expand your workout. Those who are looking to get started with a workout regimen should consider starting in the pool instead of the treadmill.

“Doing it in the winter is easier than doing it in the summer. If you don’t know how to swim, water aerobics can work for you because you are in the shallow end,” said Davis. “The water is so great because it’s not like weights. It gives you resistance but without putting stress on your weight-bearing joints.”

Davis said she plans to continue her water aerobics class in the Bronx next year. Go to swimswimswimisay.com for more information.