You may not be in training for the next Olympics, but having a pool is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy, even as you have fun too. Water has the unique characteristic of buoying your weight, making difficult motions outside the water a breeze to perform in the pool.
It can also reduce the stress on painful joints from arthritis and other degenerative ailments, allowing you to exercise in greater comfort. And best of all: a little play time in the pool puts you in a good mood.
This makes your pool the ideal place to perform aquatic therapy for weight loss, to rehabilitate motor skills, for stress reduction, and yes, even to build muscle and get that lean athletic form you’ve envied from afar on our Olympic swimming athletes. Here are a few ways you can make your pool, the best fitness and health tool in your home gym setup.
Come Back Stronger Than Ever
If you’ve suffered an injury or have a condition like osteoarthritis, just the thought of exercise might make you wince in pain. But, without exercise, the body tends to weaken, especially when it already has another condition making it frailer.
Aquatic therapy can help patients who have trouble managing pain while exercising by relieving much of the body weight during exercise. The aquatic environment can offer patients with conditions like cerebral palsy a greater range of movements than might be possible otherwise. Check with your occupational therapist for specific aquatic exercises you can repeat in your pool to help strengthen problem areas or provide rehabilitation or improvement in movement.
Jump Start Your Weight Loss
If you’re already embarrassed about a few extra pounds, the idea of hitting the gym in shorts and a tank top might make you blush further. While all the other gym rats are jumping up and down with delight, you’ll be struggling to catch your breath, sometime unable to last the full aerobics class session.
Well, with a pool in your home, you can jump start your weight loss regime in privacy with water aerobics instead. Start in the shallow end of your pool with jogging, crunches, and jumping jacks. Turn it into a routine you can do in as little as 20 minutes every day. You’ll burn calories and boost your metabolism, making it easier to keep losing fat as you go along.
Improve Your Mental Health
Aquatic therapy can help people with lifelong conditions like fibromyalgia to manage pain and improve their mental health.
Stress is a major contributor to a number of illnesses, and reducing stress can ramp up wellbeing on multiple levels.
Even if all you want to do is get into the zone, a few laps around the pool can put you in a meditative state that will heighten your mood and make you feel refreshed and energized. If that sounds like too much work, just bring some levity to your day by getting into your most colourful swimsuit and relax in the floating lounger with a drink at your side to forget about your troubles for a few hours.
We’ve found even a little play time with the kids or the family dog in the pool can bring a smile to your lips, no matter what else is going on in your life.
Get Serious About Fitness
If you’re more ambitious and really want to ramp up your fitness goals, there are ways to use aquatic therapy to build muscle and get tanned at the same time! Add some weights to your water aerobics routine and you’ll be doing double duty on the muscle-building. The water in the pool offers resistance for most exercises done in the pool, but adding weights increases it even more. If you think water aerobics is only for water nymphs, you just haven’t stretched your imagination far enough to make use of that free water resistance.
Want to Discover More Health Benefits of Aquatic Therapy?
All you have to do is think a little outside-the-box. Here are some potential ways you can use a swimming pool for aquatic therapy:
To Regain Balance – Aquatic therapy for regaining balance provides a safe environment.
For Relaxation and Pain Relief – Aquatic therapy can make use of heated pools, spas with massage jets, and even salt water pools for different varieties of stress and pain relief programs.
To Reduce Back Stress – Pregnant women in particular will enjoy pool time in an effort to reduce back stress.
To Increase Motor Control – People with Parkinson’s disease can learn how to practice movements in a low-weight environment to increase motor control.
There you have it, some foolproof ways to improve your health and wellbeing with the simple installation of a private swimming pool in your backyard!