The advantages of having your own swimming pool are well known. Whether it’s inground, semi-inground, or above ground, a pool offers many hours of amusement right in your backyard. It increases your home’s value (in most cases, at least). And, perhaps most importantly, it allows you to enjoy the impressive health benefits of regular swimming.
These are the sorts of perks would-be pool owners fantasize about. But if all that isn’t enough for you, there are also many advantages of owning a swimming pool that aren’t so obvious (at least to non-pool owners). Here are a few less heralded benefits of pool ownership that may not have occurred to you.
1. There are fitness benefits for non-swimmers, too
You don’t have to be a swimmer to get a good workout in the pool – in fact, you don’t even have to know how to swim. Walking or jogging in the pool are great, low-impact forms of aquatic exercise that almost anyone can do. Being immersed in water provides extra resistance for the muscles while simultaneously protecting the joints and bones. And, because exercising in the pool is more fun, you’re more likely to stick with the program.
2. You control the cleanliness of your pool
For the cost of a pool, you could take your family to a nearby water park or municipal pool many, many times. Of course, if you did that, sooner or later members of your family would likely come down with illnesses ranging from Athlete’s Foot to E. coli. Granted, a few trips to the public pool aren’t going to kill anyone. Still, as an alternative to owning your own pool, public pools leave a lot to be desired. In one recent stomach-churning study, the CDC found that 58 percent of public pools contained fecal matter. Of course, private residential swimming pools can also be unsanitary if not properly maintained. But with less traffic (and presumably, better hygiene from those using the pool), a backyard pool is far less likely to turn into a breeding ground for germs.
3. It’s good for your mental health
Ever notice how people who live near water seem a lot more laid back than the rest of us? For most people, water is an amazingly effective natural stress reliever. Floating weightlessly in water (or on a pool float) is a comforting, almost womb-like experience that tends to make anxiety dissolve away. Better yet, even being near a pool can have a positive impact on your state of mind. Beautiful surroundings and the soothing sound of water offer the perfect setting for quiet meditation. You can enhance the effect by installing water features and/or building your pool close to the house.
4. You and your family sleep better
Whether you suffer from bouts of insomnia, or just struggle to get your kids to bed on time, a pool can make your life easier. Being in and around a pool causes physical fatigue in a number of ways, which in turn allows you to fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. Swimming, walking, or just goofing off in the pool are all sure fire ways to tire you out. But did you know that just being in the pool can cause fatigue? That’s because the cool water lowers your body temperature, forcing you to expend energy behind the scenes to balance things out.
5. You see more of your friends and family
Simply put, a swimming pool is a social magnet. It gives friends and neighbors a reason to come over and just hang out. It gives you an excuse to host a party once in awhile, even if you’re not the most outgoing person. And, most importantly for parents and grandparents, it keeps the kids close. In a perfect world, people wouldn’t need an excuse to spend time together. However, the reality is that people get wrapped up in their daily lives and the distractions of ever-present technology. A swimming pool provides that little bit of extra impetus to break from the routine and spend time with others. And best of all, cell phones aren’t invited.