Water Workouts


Paddleboarding with the 2011 NEAT crew (+ Walter).

The motivation to work out in the summertime can instantly be squashed by the sweltering days we’ve recently endured. But, looking good in the season’s often tight and skimpy clothing doesn’t come naturally without some old fashioned exercise (and eating well, of course).

To avoid the dangers of overheating, try combining your lazy beach days with some physical activity in the water. It will keep you cool, and many of these exercises work your entire core and use the water as an added resistance.

Stand Up Paddleboard: Walt and I tried this workout with a few friends our first summer in Connecticut. One of the advantages of being a novice is an instant cool off when we inevitably fell in the water several times. Our instructor for the day, Andy, was extremely supportive, and has become one of our good friends.

Tread Water: One of the requirements for being a lifeguard at Disney was treading water with our hands on our head for 5 minutes. This may seem like an easy task, but it’s a surprisingly difficult full body workout, and during our test I was shocked to see a very muscular jock fail.

Kayak: The day after I graduated college, I left for a 9 day kayaking trip at the barrier islands of South Carolina, and I will admit it was intense. My arms were so sore after one kayaking outing that I spent most of the night crying in the tent (perhaps I was also teary eyed due to the nonexistence of bathrooms and showers. jk. kind of.), but when I returned I tanned, bitten up (oh those mosquitos), and also really toned.

I don’t recommend embarking on a trip like that without experience, but a few hours in the water will definitely give your arms a tough workout, as well as your core.

Yoga: My favorite summer activity. One of the local yogis runs classes at our beach sunset, but you don’t have to have formal instruction, just bring your phone and watch one of the many YouTube yoga lessons. And, if you want to avoid the heat and crowds, get up early and do a sun salutation.

If you’re a more advanced paddleboader, you can also try some yoga positions on your board.

Water Ski: This sport takes a hefty amount of endurance and coordination. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get up during your first outing, we’ve all been there, but it’s very fun and rewarding once you learn the basics.

Surfing: Despite Walter’s love of surfing, this is the only water sport listed that I haven’t tried. Blame on the lack of wake at our beach, or unfavorable weather conditions, but I’m still waiting for my lesson from him (hint).

Consult a surfing friend to help you learn to pop up (something that we’ve tried in the living room), and then see how you do in the water, to avoid possible embarrassment or frustration.

What’s your favorite way to stay cool and fit in the summertime?


One thought on “Water Workouts

  1. Pingback: September Favorites | Where Brooklyn At?

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