Summer seems here to stay and our daily lives seem to be more and more stressful. While regular exercise can ease our stress, it seems equally important to keep our cool. A lot has been said about gym workouts (not to mention the gym selfies) already. Let’s discuss another trend that has picked up of late – pool workouts! Aquatic exercises not only improve flexibility, but also help in burning scores of calories. Body stamina and balance can also improve by doing simple exercises in the pool. Try standing on one leg while raising the other knee to hip level. Hold on to this position in shallow water up for to 30 seconds and switch legs. As the water provides resistance to the body’s movements, the muscles gain strength. The key is to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of the workout. For instance, trying walking in waist-high water by starting with 10-20 steps forward and backward. You can gradually increase your speed and the step count. Similarly, taking steps sideways (facing the pool wall) is also an easy way to warm up. These exercises in water are indeed fun and rewarding. Once you’ve mastered the basics, the next step is water aerobics. You can enjoy it in different forms – aqua zumba, water yoga, aqua jog, aqua cycling, etc. These are all performed in almost-chest-high water. These exciting exercises help in building muscle strength and pumping more blood to the heart. Some fast music adds an extra dose of fun to this fitness routine. A step higher (or rather, deeper) is deep water aerobics. The movements in this are carried out in neck- deep water where the feet cannot touch the pool base. It’s a complete body workout and reduces stress on the back, hips, knees and ankles. Once you begin, you’ll realise that these aquatic workouts are as cool as they sound. The best part is that you can burn fat, sweat-free. Before you start, however, make sure to check with the instructors and follow their advice. Fortunately, there are many experts in India who are now promoting this form of workout. Olympian swimmer and Arjuna Award recipient, Rehan Poncha, has been inspiring everyone with his series, ‘Swim Fit’. The water has been his favourite teacher and friend. This summer, let’s all befriend the pool to stay fit the aqua-way.