We're in the middle of a heat wave here in the Northeast U.S. and it's been pretty uncomfortable to run outdoors -- at any time of day. If you're dealing with some intense summer weather and you're sick of the treadmill, you may want to try taking your running to the pool. Deep water running is a great, no-impact exercise that lets you still get your runs in, while staying cool. You'll also help prevent injuries by reducing the pounding on your joints. If you've never tried it before, here are some tips for getting started with deep water running:
- To do deep water running effectively, you'll need a floatation vest or belt, such as the AquaJogger. Almost any flotation vest or belt will work, as long as it keeps your body afloat while allowing you to perform a running motion.
- Start with a warm-up, just as you would any other run. Get in the water and swim (or tread water) for 2-3 minutes to get your body warmed up.
- In deep water, where your feet can't touch the bottom, simulate running with your flotation device worn as instructed. Use the same good running form that you would when running on the ground or the treadmill. Your body should be straight up in the water; don't lean forward much or hunch over. Keep your shoulders back and look straight ahead.
- Try not to paddle with your hands. Keep your fist loosely closed and let your legs move you forward. You can swing your arms higher or shorter and faster to intensify your workout.
- To cool down, take off your flotation device and do some easy swimming for 2-3 minutes.