For years I stayed fit as a swimmer. Putting in my laps at the pool or taking long swims out across local lakes.
With kids, this approach to fitness had to change for obvious reasons. Sure, sometimes my spouse would be along and we could spot each other for a longer swim. But that was only sometimes . . .
Otherwise, I was condemned to the beach watching my chubby-kneed daughter run back and forth into the water. The kids were getting their water aerobics but I wasn’t.
Then I rediscovered the excellent workout treading water offers. Treading water provides an excellent workout for your butt, thighs, arms, shoulders and core. It tones down your tummy and can get you breathing hard in just 10 minutes depending on how you work at it.
Just try it. Try treading water in whichever way you can for a good three minutes . . . try five minutes . . . ten minutes . . .
Okay, now up the intensity. Kick your legs harder and go no hands. Or try hands only, letting your legs dangle. Alternate between scissor kicks and more rounded sweeps with your legs.
Do short quick scissor kicks and then long ones.
Soon you’ll be feeling your tummy tightening up. And your thighs may begin to burn.
And if it gets to be a little too strenuous, come in from the deep. Do some underwater kicks or jog in place. Or if you’re at a pool, hold on to the side and really do some hard flutter kicks.
All of this can be done without taking your eyes off of your little one splashing in the shallows or playing in the sand. You’ve simply switched sides and made your observation post in the water.
And if you do have a friend or spouse along who can take shifts, keep the treading water in the mix. Often I do a few quick sprints and then tread for 10 minutes while my husband does a few laps.
So for swimming fitness with kids in tow, shift perspective and tread water. Save that spot on the beach for when you and your little one are both ready to snuggle, wrapped in a towel. I’ll tell you, that sandwich you packed tastes so much better after some water aerobics.