Though we are in the midst of winter and snowstorms a plenty, we can't help but begin to dream about Summer! Whether you are at a local community pool, at a residential home pool or traveling and enjoy a pool somewhere else, summer and swimming pools go hand in hand. Here are some reasons why going to the pool and swimming in the summer is so great!
If you've been cooped up too long indoors or your muscles have grown stiff from the winter and you are aching to get moving again, there's no better way to become more active than swimming at the pool. Swimming is a great way to lengthen the body, stretch muscles and improve flexibility as well as improve cardio endurance. It is also a calorie torcher and is a full body workout--a 160 pound person can burn approximately 423 calories an hour swimming at a low or moderate pace, or 715 calories at a more vigorous pace, whereas walking at 3.5 miles an hour for 60 minutes may result in only 314 calories burned.* For kids, once they learn to swim they can also benefit from a more active lifestyle while being able to safely have fun at any pool party or vacation by the water!
*Calories burned may vary from person to person
With increased time spent indoors and time sitting in front of computers for remote learning or remote working, our ability to use and learn social cues from others is highly diminished, as well as being limited to gatherings indoors. When virtual meetings do not have video, or if classes are more instruction based than interactive, adults and children alike exercise less and less of their social skills to communicate and pick up on facial expressions. Teamwork and communication skills can be negatively affected due to lack of meaningful social interaction. Spending time at the pool with family and friends not only allows for more active family bonding time, but also allows for safe outdoor social interactions while having lots fun making memories together. When you are at a community pool, you are surrounded by fellow swimmers and swim classes--surrounding yourself with people and engaging in social interaction is a great way to boost overall well-being and confidence. Parents and adults are able to see others in their community and bond, while children are able to see or make new friends--every new interaction with their peers helps them improve language, social skills, teamwork, compromise, coping with different emotions and more that at-home family interactions may not provide.
Swimming is an activity and sport that is neutral and low impact on its participant, with great health benefits that improve mobility, flexibility, physical strength and more. Regardless of your age, the exercise benefits from swimming can be reaped by all and is good for any fitness level. You can use it as your workout or to rehabilitate from injury, because the water resistance helps to strengthen muscles and joints without the harsh impact from landing on your feet on the ground. The pool is a safe place that most can dive into and enjoy!
In addition to allowing you to exercise social skills, the act of swimming and being in and around the pool has meditative, relaxing effects on the mind and body. As one may experience a "runner's high" from the adrenaline and endorphins released during a run or cycle session, the "swimmer's high" is the same when swimming through a pool. The repetitive process in swimming laps has a continuous stretching and strengthening affect and helps individuals to clear the mind and improve focus. Water also provides people with emotions of renewal and clarity. Not to mention, just being by the pool on a beautiful day, relaxing in a chair with your favorite book can be a great stress-reliever too!
Studies show that regular aerobic exercise improves the quality of sleep in adults and older adults with insomnia--aerobic exercise includes swimming, cycling, running, using an elliptical or Stairmaster, and more. In a study with older adults with insomnia, participants reported having better quality of life and improved sleep after regular exercise sessions. If you're looking to catch a more restful sleep, swimming is an easily accessible, low impact way to catch those Z's.
Many clubs and community pools offer discounted rates for memberships. Your employer or school may have a partnership with a local fitness club with a pool, or may offer reimbursements for joining a fitness program, so check with your employer or health insurance. At the Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA, active YMCA memberships (including families with active Youth Memberships) can get discounted rates for their BHCP memberships! Additionally, take advantage of our Early Bird Savings offer to save even more by registering by February 28, 2021!
Register for a membership at Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA at www.thesay.org/bhcp
Look forward to warm summer days with endless poolside fun with friends and family with the YMCA--enjoy the indoor pool at the Summit YMCA or the outdoor pool at the Berkeley Heights YMCA. Join us today and enjoy a $0 joining fee and begin enjoying a variety of fitness options including group fitness classes, virtual fitness classes, swimming, sports and more!
To join, visit www.thesay.org/join
Because we believe every individual deserves the opportunity to access our programs and services to learn, grow and thrive, The Summit Area YMCA also provides financial assistance for individuals and families in need for membership, programs, classes, child care, summer camp and more. Learn more about our Financial Assistance program at www.thesay.org/fa
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve over 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.
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