Stress kills. That is not a scare tactic, it’s a fact. Chances are you have heard from your doctor, “You need to relax!” Well, if you have a swimming pool in your backyard you can work toward a more stressful and healthful life by simply jumping into the swimming pool.
You don’t have to swim laps or play in-pool volleyball, you can walk from side to side. Do a back float. Use a kickboard. Play with the children. Even sitting poolside will be a stress reliever because of the healing properties of water.
Relieve Your Stress In A Swimming Pool
When you swim you are working almost every muscle in your body, you are increasing your lung capacity and you are giving your heart a great workout. Swimming is not only healthful, it is peaceful. When you’re slicing through the water or walking from side to side, the water is smooth on your body and feels cool against your skin.
Swimming at night truly amps up the enjoyment and mental health benefits. When you swim under the stars you have the peace of the cover of night, probably less noise than during the day and the dark is more soothing than blazing sun.
A night time slow swim may also help you sleep better.
If you love the idea of the pool and of water but don’t relish the idea of getting into the water, that’s all right! When you relax poolside or sit on the side of the pool and swish your feet through the water you’re still reaping the relaxation benefits of simply being in water.
Get yourself an inflatable raft, don a sun hat and float around in the pool, dipping your fingers into the water as you do so. We bet you will be almost instantly relaxed.
Swimming away your stress
Are you feeling anxious? Do you feel your “blood pressure rising” just because of minor or major annoyances? Do you feel your shoulders are up around your ears because you’re feeling stressed? If so, a swim may help with all and may offer you a temporary respite from the stresses of your day and your life.
Again, the feel of the water against your skin, the act of physical activity, the emotional release and the mindlessness of a swim will help with your stress and anxiety.
Sleep, wonderful sleep
Sleep is not only a wonderful thing, it is necessary for your overall health. If you toss and turn whether from stress, anxiety or pain you won’t get the restful and rejuvenating sleep you need. Your body needs time to heal itself and it does that while you’re in bed — if you’re sleeping. A deep, restful REM sleep is necessary for you to feel you’re getting a good night’s sleep and in order to wake up ready to face the new day.
Is your sleep punctuated by restlessness and wakefulness? Is it caused by stress, strife in the family or because you’re not getting enough activity. A sedentary lifestyle will lead to a restless sleep.
Oh my aching back
When you have chronic pain you may feel you can’t exercise. Pain limits your life. Pain may keep you housebound or from enjoying activities with the family. When you slip into a swimming pool, you can take a walk in the water, swim laps using a kick board and you may find you feel better simply because you’re moving. It may seem counterintuitive, but your doctor will tell you that if you can move you may relieve pain.
Arthritis suffers and diabetics may find relief from aches and pains and with lower levels of pain you may sleep better. If you’ve had surgery and are on the road to recovery, a swim workout is the best way to get back in shape without putting strain on an injured body part.
Weight loss and heart health, anyone?
When you swim you’re improving heart function and increasing lung capacity.
Swimming might help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Are you struggling to lose weight? Are you convinced that because you’re too overweight that you have to continue to be overweight because exercise hurts? Swimming can address that and help with weight loss. You may not want to go to the gym or jog aound the block or lift weights, but swimming laps in the comfort of your own pool — now that’s just what the weight loss doctor ordered!
Swimming is great and can be restful BUT if you’re swimming in an area that doesn’t spark joy and a feeling of calm, you won’t reap all of the benefits you could. Here are a few steps to take:
- Set the mood with lighting — in the pool and in the outdoor living area. Consider floating candles and solar powered lights to surround the pool. If you have in pool lighting, turn it to a dim, calm color
- Music can help soothe mind and body
- Swim with long, slow strokes — feel the water sluicing past and be mindful of every muscle in your body.
- Keep the relaxation going by investing in spa quality lotions and an incredible towel or bathrobe. If you’re swimming on a warm, summer day wrap yourself in a silky robe and lie back with a glass of wine or iced tea and keep the relaxation going