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Refreshing workout for summer months

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Capt. Michael Masuda, 4th Airlift Squadron, swims laps in the base pool, Wednesday. The base pool opened for the season Memorial Day weekend and will close Labor Day weekend.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Tyler Hemstreet)

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Capt. Michael Masuda, 4th Airlift Squadron, swims laps in the base pool, Wednesday. The base pool opened for the season Memorial Day weekend and will close Labor Day weekend.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Tyler Hemstreet)

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- As the weather starts to warm up, the pool can be a cool and refreshing alternative to the hot asphalt when it comes to getting a cardiovascular workout.

The base pool, which opened for the season May 26, offers lap swimming from 7 to 9 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

Swimming laps for 20 minutes using a kickboard with a flutter-kick motion can provide a great cardio workout for beginners, said exercise physiologist Patrick Conway, 62nd Medical Operations Squadron.

Using a kickboard with a flutter kick is vital to the workout because the kicking motion gets the heart pumping, Mr. Conway said.

But to get the full impact of the workout, one must swim back and forth for the entire 20 minutes.

"For those just starting out, it may take a while to build up that stamina," Mr. Conway said.

Those looking to work out their arms during a swim can use a pool buoy, a molded piece of foam that helps form proper leg position and flotation while swimming laps, said McChord pool manager and lifeguard Jonathan McFadden, 62nd Services Squadron.

For more experienced swimmers, Mr. McFadden suggests using goggles and a formfitting suit.

"You really want to have goggles if you're going to be opening your eyes under water for an extended amount of time," said Mr. McFadden, also a former competitive swimmer. 

"You also don't want a suit that's going to blow up like a parachute under water while you're swimming."

For those looking to rehab a knee or joint injury, walking or running in the pool can also provide a good workout, Mr. Conway said.

But no matter the water-based workout, proper hydration is still paramount.

Mr. Conway recommends drinking 16 ounces of water or an energy drink every 20 minutes.

Swimmers should also get in the pool with caution by sitting on the edge and then sliding in, he said.

"You don't want to hurt your foot or injure your toe on the bottom of the pool by leaping in off the side," Mr. Conway said.

For those worried about the cold water in the morning, Mr. McFadden said that likely won't be an issue. 

"We like to keep the pool between 82 and 84 degrees," he said. "It's very comfortable. It's at a temperature that keeps everyone happy." 

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Pool hours

Open swims:
Noon to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday
Noon to 6 p.m. Weekends

Lap Swims:
7 to 9 a.m. Tuesday to Friday
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday to Friday

Swim Lessons:
July 10 to 13, July 17 to 20 Registration: June 25
July 24 to 27, July 31 to Aug. 3 Registration: July 9
Aug. 7 to 10, Aug. 14 to 17 Registration: July 23

For more information, call Adventures Unlimited at 982-2206.