Outdoor swimming pools are multi-functional additions with opportunities for mental and physical health benefits. While simply gazing at water can reduce blood pressure and inspire inner peace, the most significant health benefits can be experienced due to physically getting into the pool and treating it as a pool gym. While this still takes some personal discipline, having a pool right outside your back door makes it take much less time, energy, and planning than getting up early enough to head to the gym for a pre-work swim.
Personal Pool Gym Benefits
Unlike traditional gyms, pool gyms allow you to get a full-body workout rather than targeting individual areas of your body. Water workouts are also easier on your muscles and joints, and the cooling liquid offers a more refreshing atmosphere than traditional gyms that leave you hot, sweaty, and tired.
If you do the same workout in the water as you would on land, those same movements can be more challenging (and, as a result, beneficial) due to the heavier resistance of water. This allows you to burn more calories in less time, making aquatic exercise extremely efficient. Unlike traditional exercise machines that focus solely on muscles, your pool gym will allow you to target strength, flexibility, endurance, and strength at the same time. Because of its natural buoyancy, water helps support your muscles and joints, reducing negative impact on your body and the chance of injury.
Personal Pool Gym Tips for Non-Swimmers
While swimming seems like the obvious exercise to do in your personal pool gym, it’s certainly not the only one! If you can’t keep yourself afloat in water that’s over your head, that’s okay; you can still benefit from aquatic exercises like those listed in this full-body aquatic workout from Prevention.com. Designed to be performed in water that’s less than 4 feet deep and using movements you’ve probably done before on land, this workout isn’t anything that requires special skills. Once you feel confident doing the exercises in general, you can add more resistance by use of leg weights and dumbbells if you wish.
Variety of Aquatic Exercises
If you are able to swim, you can certainly swim a few laps around the pool for good measure; but unless you’re going for an Olympic medal, it’s not necessary to swim boring laps. Instead, you can add a variety of exercises to keep your pool workouts interesting.
Because water offers more than ten times the resistance as air, any actions you do in the pool will have the capability of burning more calories and toning muscles more efficiently. Don’t forget to add in a 10- or 15-minute meditation time. Simply taking a few moments to soak in the tranquility of your outdoor oasis can help you enter the responsibilities of your day with a greater sense of peace and confidence.
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