Pools are popular. Fun fact: there are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States, according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). That’s a lot of pools! Why do people love pools so much? What kind of perks do pools offer anyway? Here are some benefits of pools that you may not know about.
1. Swimming is the 4th most popular sport in America.
The number 1 spot is walking, while the 2nd and 3rd spots were weightlifting and exercise with cardio equipment, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Swimming is also the most popular recreational activity for children and teens (ages 7-17). Which is not that surprising when you think about it, because it’s so fun!
2. The presence of blue water in your backyard creates a calming effect in your brain.
“Blue Mind” is a scientific term associated with water-related calm and peace. This science tells us that as humans, we’re naturally drawn to blue space. This natural phenomena leads to a feeling of wellness and peace when we are in or around bodies of water. Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of the best-selling book Blue Mind, says,
“Research has shown that being near, in, on or under water can provide a long list of benefits for our mind and body, including lowering stress and anxiety, increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate, and safe, better workouts. Aquatic therapists are increasingly looking to the water to help treat and manage PTSD, addiction, anxiety disorders, autism and more.”
3. It adds value to your home.
In addition to the benefit of aesthetic appeal that a pool adds to your home, a pool could boost your home’s value by as much as 7% in some areas! In the Sunbelt especially, where the Summer heat can be unbearable, it can be a deciding factor against competition when you sell your home.
4. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise.
Swimming is an excellent cardiovascular workout, which strengthens both the heart and the lungs. It burns more calories than walking or biking and uses every major muscle group in the body! You can burn up to 850 calories per hour in the swimming pool by swimming vigorously, and can still burn a ton of calories with a low intensity swim session. Active water aerobics is another calorie burner that gets your heart moving faster. Plus, the low impact water workout a pool provides targets all major muscle groups without causing joint pain! Going swimming or doing water exercise in your pool will also lead to many other benefits besides keeping fit. It is an excellent way to improve or maintain cardiovascular health, as well as improve strength, balance, flexibility and posture.
5. Swimming relieves stress.
Swimming is also a superb stress reliever.
In an article on this topic, Swimmer magazine interviewed Moby Coquillard, a psychotherapist and swimmer from San Mateo, CA., who prescribes exercise to depressed patients. He claims:
“I absolutely believe swimming can serve as a kind of medicine. For me, it represents a potent adjunct to antidepressant medications and, for some patients, it’s something you can take in lieu of pills.”
Aside from potential biochemical changes in the brain, swimming requires a type of muscular and breathing technique very similar to the relaxing techniques used in yoga and meditation. When you swim, you typically alternate between stretching and relaxing your muscles while at the same time, deeply inhaling and exhaling while sometimes also holding your breath. Combined with the cool water, tranquil appearance and sunshine, it all adds up to total relaxation!
6. More time outdoors!
Having a pool can also lead to spending more time outside, and being outside has health benefits of its own. Enjoying the sunshine more can potentially improve memory, increase focus and creativity, fight depression, and lower blood pressure. And let’s not forget about that added vitamin D!
7. It can lead to increased social activity and family bonding.
Think back through your past memories in search of fond experience with your family or friends at the pool. Most people can probably remember at least one! Pools are a wonderful way to bring your family together. Kids, teens, and adults alike all can enjoy a day of splashing, playing, or lounging together in some sparkling water on a sunny day. Plus, with a pool, everyone will want to come to your house, which will make you a popular host!
You know all about the benefits of pools now… so what’s keeping you? Get out there and enjoy your pool!