Staying active throughout the winter months is a crucial part of your well-being. Exercising is not only ideal for weight control, but also increases flexibility and mobility. During the winter, you could hop in an indoor pool as a fun way to stay fit. Aquatic exercises are perfect for those who want to remain in shape without putting undue stress on the joints. Remember to pay attention to your body as you exercise and know your limits. If you feel winded in the pool or notice any pain, stop the workout immediately.

Here are a few water-based exercise routines you can do this winter:

Water Jogging

Jogging in the water is typically part of an aqua aerobics class or you choose to do this work out on your own. Keep the workout simple by jogging underwater from one side of the pool to the other. You could also simply march or jog in place for a predetermined amount of time. Although the exercise is low-impact, you should feel your heart rate rise as you jog or march in the pool. Start out with a 10-minute jog in the pool and build upon that time.

Kickboard Exercises

Kickboards are a tool that can be used as part of your aquatics workout during the winter. Kickboards are perfect to use while doing flutter kicks in the water. While holding the board in front of you, perform flutter kicks to travel around the water. If you don’t use a kickboard, simply float at the edge of the pool while holding onto the sides. Kick your feet in front of you in a flutter pattern and you’ll feel your heart rate rise steadily. Continue the movement for approximately five minutes or until you feel tired.

Aquatic Strength Training

Water weights can be incorporated into your aquatic exercise routine during the winter months. Water weights help you build muscle, improve mobility, and increase strength. One simple, but effective exercise you can perform with weights is arm curls. With your palms out, hold the weights out in front of your body. Curl the weights up and down, pushing against the resistance created by the water. Try to do 8 to 10 reps for each set.

Chest Exercises

The pool makes it very easy to work the upper body muscles. Most chest exercises in the water don’t require weights and can help build upper body strength over time. For instance, chest flies require you to stand in chest high water with your arms submerged and fully extended in front of your chest. To perform the move, you’ll move your arms out to the sides of the body before pushing them back to the center. Repeat the move a minimum of 10 times for 3 sets. Another effective exercise is pushups performed standing up while in the pool. To do this move, go to the edge of the pool and position your hands against the sides of the pool, slightly wider than shoulder width. As you bend at the elbows, you’ll push your chest towards the wall of the pool. Aim for 10 pushups at a clip with a minimum of 3 sets performed.


Swimming is an effective exercise that improves cardiovascular health. Swimming is a full-body workout and can burn upwards of 600 calories an hour if you move at a steady rate. Swim laps in an indoor pool during the winter. Each day, aim to add an extra five minutes to the overall time you spend in the pool.

Balance Exercises

Aquatic workouts don’t need to be limited to aerobics or strength training. You could also improve your balance and flexibility underwater. You can now practice disciplines such as yoga and Tai Chi in the pool. You’ll have a larger range of motion and also alleviate unnecessary stress on the joints as you learn the moves.

Philadelphia Protestant Home has an onsite wellness and aquatics center with a full schedule of pool activities to help you stay fit this winter season. Our programs include AquaPPhit, HydroPPhit, Body Motion, and more. These include aquatic aerobic exercises along with workouts designed for swimmers with arthritis. We also have open swim times to give you time to enjoy the pool on your own terms.

PPH is a warm and caring senior living community in the Philadelphia area. We offer living options to hundreds of residents who require different levels of care. Contact us to find out more or to schedule a tour of our community.