The winter grays have been replaced by summer days. The clouds have shifted, the chill lifted. You can feel the warmth on your face as you head out to the patio for your morning cup of coffee. It is a welcome feeling, even as you swat at one of the first mosquitoes of the season.
Summer can feel so full of possibility, the weather perfect for your favorite activities. You can work in the garden or book a tee time with friends. You can hike your favorite trail with your four-legged companion or join friends in training for a half marathon. Or, as you seek a way to cool off, get in the water and begin training for a triathlon.
However, the transition from winter inactivity to summer exercise can put our bodies at risk of overuse injuries. You might be doing more than you are used to or using muscles that have not been conditioned. The result might be pain or inflammation, which is caused by repetitive use and microtrauma.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to think twice before joining friends for an open water swim or hiring a landscaper. Taking time to warm-up, stretch, and improve your strength can help you stay healthy and active this summer.
Pool stretches and aquatic therapy exercises can be particularly helpful. Not only is water easy on the joints, but it also provides resistance for strengthening your body. Taking time to stretch and strengthen, especially in a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa, can help you make the most of summer and feel your best this season and beyond.
Summer exercise injuries
Did your motivation to work out pop up with the flowers in your yard? You are not alone. According to research, the desire to exercise can drop by a third in the winter. The shorter days and colder temperatures can trigger a “hibernation” mode.
But with summer, the combination of fresh air, warm sun, and quality time with friends is the perfect equation for exercising and moving around outdoors.
It’s crucial, though, to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of your workouts. This approach allows your body to adapt and reduces the risk of overuse injuries.
It’s also important to incorporate a proper warm-up and cool-down routine. Dynamic movements and stretches before an activity help increase blood flow and prepare your muscles and joints. Similarly, end your exercise session with static stretches to promote flexibility and aid in recovery.
As your activity level increases in the summer, it’s important to listen to your body. Pay attention to any discomfort, unusual sensations, or pain during your workouts. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s crucial to rest, seek medical advice if necessary, and modify your activities accordingly. Ignoring pain can worsen injuries and prolong your recovery time.
Common overuse injuries in the summer include shin splints, tennis elbow, and sprains and strains.
Exercising in a swim spa
Staying active is important to your overall health and well-being — and not just in the summer. But you might not always want to go to the gym after spending an afternoon putting down mulch or walking around the zoo with your family.
What about getting in the water and just moving?
The water will feel refreshing while providing the stretching and strengthening you need without having to leave your backyard.
And a Michael Phelps swim spa allows you to incorporate water exercise into your routine. An alternative to a backyard pool, a swim spa has a continuous water current for stationary swimming. You can also walk, jog, and exercise against the flow of water. Built-in therapy seats have massage jets for relaxation and tension relief.
If you want to use the swim spa for water stretches and recovery, you can adjust the water temperature so it’s in the therapeutic range. Warm water increases circulation and flexibility so that you can move better throughout your daily life.
Benefits of exercising in water
Offering a range of benefits, the properties of water provide a safe, comfortable environment for exercise.
Buoyancy: Water exercise is known for its low-impact nature. The buoyancy of water significantly reduces stress on the joints, decreasing the risk of injuries associated with high-impact exercises.
Michael Phelps swim spas have a water depth of 51 inches, which helps reduce the impact of gravity on your body by up to 80 percent. It allows you to engage in a full range of motion exercises without worrying about joint strain or discomfort.
Resistance: The water’s resistance provides a challenging workout for your muscles, effectively toning and building strength without the need for heavy weights. Additionally, the natural resistance of water helps enhance flexibility and range of motion, promoting fluid movement and preventing muscle stiffness.
Hydrostatic pressure: The hydrostatic pressure provided by the water also helps reduce swelling, improve circulation, and enhance joint stability.
Swim spa stretching routine
To prepare your body for summer and enhance your fitness level, we’ve created a swim spa stretching routine that can benefit anyone, whether you’ve been hibernating indoors or want to improve your golf game.
Additionally, this routine can be used to relieve muscle tension after a long flight or an epic road trip.
Straight leg walk
Stand tall with your core engaged. Lift one leg as high as possible and lower it in front of you, repeating the motion with the other leg. Walk from one end of the swim spa to the other, counting reps or setting a specific time duration.
Piriformis walk: Bend your knee and lift it at an angle towards the water’s surface, pointing your knee outward. You should feel a stretch in your pelvis and hips.
Hip flexion and extension
Raise one leg in front of you and then extend it behind you. If you struggle with balance, hold onto the side of the swim spa for support.
Clasp your hands together and lift your arms, allowing for a stretch in the shoulders and upper back. This stretch benefits swimmers, golfers, baseball players, or those with shoulder mobility issues.
Cross body stretch
Take one arm and place it across your chest, using your other arm to gently bring it closer to your body.
Split stance fly
Assume a split stance for added stability. Bring your arms in front of you and open them up, then close them. To make it more challenging, consider using aquatic dumbbells.
Core rotations: Clasp your arms together in front of you and rotate from side to side, engaging your core muscles.
By incorporating these exercises into your swim spa routine, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of stretching and strengthening your body while minimizing the risk of injury. Whether you’re a beginner or have some fitness experience, these exercises are accessible to all.
How to buy a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa
Do you want to be able to swim, exercise, and relax at home? Having a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa allows you to swim on your schedule while adding a fun factor to your backyard. You can click here to find out more about the benefits of hydrotherapy and relaxing in a hot tub. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.