A workout for the pool or lake

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Gwenn Smith works for TOPS, which is a support group for lifestyle change, helping people become healthier and happier. It’s an acronym, that stands for ‘Take Off Pounds Sensibly.’

Smith says, “When we began in 1948, the focus was on weight loss. Now we’ve realized weight loss isn’t important: health is.”

Gwenn teaches us a TOPS pool work out to cool off and get fit, which has its benefits: “When you’re in the water, it give you buoyancy so your joints don’t hurt, but it also provides resistance as you move your body against the water,” Gwenn explains.

Water Walking, Jogging, or Marching 

Walk your way into waist-high or chest-high water. Walk 10-20 steps forward and then the same distance backward. You can intensify the workout by gently jogging instead of walking. Switch between jogging for 30 seconds and walking for 30 seconds. Aim for a five-minute workout. You can also march in place, swinging your arms by your sides. If you get winded, take a break, and then start marching again. 

For a bigger challenge, walk in deeper water, which will increase resistance. Begin walking for a minute or two and rest for a minute. You can build your time as your fitness level rises. 

Full body lunge and stretch 

Stand in waist-deep water with your feet under your hips and arms at your side. Step your right foot forward and lower your left knee toward the bottom of the pool. Then return to the original position. Repeat the sequence using your left foot. Try for 8 to 10 times with each leg. This exercise builds flexibility and strength in arms, shoulders, front and back of thighs, and rear muscles. 


Face the pool wall and stand upright. Take sideways steps, keeping the body and toes facing the wall. Take 10 to 20 steps and then return.