If you had to decide between using your backyard for leisure or installing a home gym for working out, which would you choose? Many people don't realize that a swimming pool can be both! Swimming is a chance to work out your entire body in a way that increases muscle strength, builds endurance, and promotes flexibility at the same time.
From professional athletes recovering from injury to senior citizens looking to alleviate arthritis pain, people have longed turned to pools as an effective from of low-impact exercise. When you’re waist-deep in water, your body bears only 50% of its weight. The result is that exercises like jogging and aerobics can be done with less impact on stiff joints, sore knees, or weak bones. At the same time, water resistance turns simple motions like walking into tough, strength-building workouts. Because water is around 800 times denser than air, swimming requires work with every movement, which is why it’s a dynamic way to burn calories. According to Emory University’s Healthier People algorithm, a 200-pound male who swims moderately for only 30 minutes will burn about 270 calories. Swimming laps in a pool burns an average of 476 calories per hour. According to Livestrong.com, swimming in the breast stroke position burns an average of 863 calories per hour for a person who weighs 190 pounds. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps famously claimed to eat a 4,000-calorie breakfast (including chocolate-chip pancakes) as part of his training routine, in part because he needed so much energy for a day of swimming.
Athletes often use swimming as a way to increase cardiovascular endurance and improve their overall fitness before returning to sport-specific exercise routines. The effects can be pronounced for people who are new to swimming – because your muscles aren’t accustomed to the motions involved in pool workouts, it will give your body a stimulating new challenge. Swimming also enhances your cardiovascular system by expanding lung capacity – and not just because you sometimes hold your breath underwater. Exercises such as swimming laps require breath control, so you become accustomed to performing high-intensity tasks with limited oxygen. When your cardio routine takes you back on land – where oxygen is in limitless supply – you’ll find your endurance to be even more enhanced because of increased lung capacity. Non-athletes and older swimmers can also appreciate this effect, because it leads to a lower heart rate and decreased blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, swimming for thirty minutes per day can decrease the risk of coronary heart disease in women by 30 to 40%.
The relaxing sounds and repetitive movements of swimming can do more than just build muscle and burn fat – swimming has been proven to promote a relaxation response from the mind. A City University of New York study found that women who swam reported similar mood enhancement to those who did yoga, with decreased feelings of anger, confusion, tension, and depression. Swimming produces endorphins – the human brain’s natural antidepressant – and according to Livestrong.com, it can promote hippocampal neurogenesis, a process in which the brain replaces cells lost through stress.
Fitness isn’t something that’s important three months out of the year – it’s a daily routine and a long-term commitment! Pool enclosures allow you to use your pool year-round, instead of “opening” in May and “closing” in early September. A pool enclosure also keeps out mosquitos, helps protect your skin, can help you save money on chlorine treatments, and let’s you use all of your energy on swimming laps, not scooping out leaves. A screen pool enclosure can help give you a private, climate-controlled environment so that you can take your entire workout poolside.
Contact us today to find out how swimming pool enclosures can give you a maintenance-free pool experience - and let you devote all of your time to exciting new workouts.