I know they’re not what you’d call environmentally acceptable, but they’re so darn versatile—and cheap—that everybody should have two of them.
One you’ll use traditionally. Bend the long piece of foam into a semicircle, and hold it in front of you as you kick your legs in water. Keep it far enough away so that you engage your abs. Then lounge on the deck with it, supine, placing your noodle under your neck for support.
The second noodle you’ll carve with a bread knife into matching sets of foot-long (or so) baby noodles.
Take two and go for a swim–one in each hand, doing breast stroke, working your way up to crawl.
Or lie down and place one under your head horizontally. Make sure you’ve placed it properly so that your chin drops down toward your chest.
“This is a great stretch for the soft tissues and muscles at the back of your neck,” says physiotherapist Shelley Alper. “Most of us sit all day at computers, with our chins jutting forward. The muscles and soft tissues around our necks get really tight,” she explains. Baby noodles are a yummy relief.