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As it heads towards winter and our swimming pool becomes unbearably cold, what is a good daily exercise I can do to replace my daily swimming?

The aim is something low impact, works out most of the body and can be done almost daily without too much strain.

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2 Answers 2

The elliptical machine is nearly no impact compared to the treadmill. Obviously, it works your legs. But if you hold on to the handles, you can pump your arms at the same time.

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Rowing is also low impact. It works your entire back and biceps. Real rowing on the river is the same, if that's an option for you.

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Try Hot Yoga. The room is heated to warm up the muscles and stimulate sweat. When the muscles are warm, the body can sink deeper into the stretches, reducing the risk of injury.

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Tai Chi, unlike Kung-Fu focuses on slow and controlled movements. Rarely will there be any sparring in a Tai Chi class, so you'll be safe.

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"Rarely will there be any sparring in a Tai Chi class" Indeed you generally have to hunt for a teacher who still does the martial form. Even then the "competitive" exercises start slow and very low impact. –  dmckee Apr 18 '11 at 2:12
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while I think the pictures are great, you should try to go into more detail as to how and why they are a good replacement –  Ivo Flipse Apr 18 '11 at 16:27

I had the pleasure of using one of the longest open air swimming pools in Europe, the Jesus Green swimming pool. It was not uncommon at either end of its season to see swimmers in wetsuits comfortably swimming for long periods. Perhaps you would consider this.

To answer your question however, consider high intensity interval training (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training). This has some similar characteristics with swimming when it is trained in intervals with rest periods. The training consists of periods of relatively high-intensity activity followed by a short period of rest that does not quite allow for full recovery anaerobic recovery (see http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=tabata). It can be used to good effect with various low impact activities, particularly callisthenics, such as:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Dips
  • Leg raises
  • Lunches
  • Squats

All of which can be performed in a controlled fashion with minimal impact. There seems to be good evidence that this sort of training gives provides good aerobic exercise with additional strength benefits.

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