While your backyard pool may be the ultimate luxury for you and your family, it doesn’t mean that potential buyers of your home will covet a pool for their outdoor living space. So, if you are considering whether to purchase a pool simply for pleasure or perhaps with an eye toward resale value, you might want to rethink the latter idea, because, when, and if, the time ever comes to put your home on the market, don’t be upset when your beautiful pool is not the drawing card for the sale. Continue reading
In a society where we are tied to our electronic devices all day, nowadays, the need to get away and de-stress is greater than ever before. The preferable place is by the water, maybe in a tropical locale, or a beautiful resort. Sometimes, people will buy a boat. Why? Because, to listen to the waves gently lapping all around you is very soothing. It is a well-known fact that people who live near the water are many more laid back than the rest of us. Psychologists tell us that floating weightlessly in water, like on an air mattress or pool float, is a comforting, almost womb-like experience which tends to make anxiety dissolve away. So also, can being in or around a pool have a definite positive impact on your state of mind. Beautiful surroundings and the soothing sound of water equate peace and offer a perfect setting for quiet meditation. It is true that your simple, rectangular concrete pool can become the ultimate stress reliever, or, you can take it one step further, and enhance that beautiful swimming pool setting by installing waterscape features in close proximity to your pool.
Waterscape design trends
As you strolled around the big box stores, you’ve seen sprinkling fountains or bubbling spheres or even a simple vertical plane waterfall. Those enhancements, either beautiful or whimsical, are easy enough ways to add some pizazz to your outdoor living space and can be done by any DIYer.
But, if you choose to pair up a waterscape extravaganza with your in-ground pool, there are options galore, especially if you are getting a brand-new pool. Don’t limit yourself to the regular rectangular-shaped pool … if you choose a fiberglass pool, because they are constructed in a one-piece molded design, you can have any shape or style of pool depending on the size of your backyard. Thus, with the pool shape of your choice, there is much more room for creativity. A naturalistic or rustic setting can be created wherein the actual pool and its accessories will just morph into the background. In-ground pools may meld into a lush tropical setting and have adjoining spas or whirlpools just steps away from the main pool area. A newer trend with swimming pools is to create an exciting “fire and water” effect wherein huge fire bowls spewing cascading water appear every ten feet around the entire pool perimeter. Hiring a local contractor who specializes in pool design can help you turn your pool area into a mini-paradise which is sure to make a big splash with your family and friends.
Rectangular swimming pools are now considered passé because these newer exciting pool shapes are more versatile and may be combined with softscape items like ornamental grasses, rock gardens or maybe consider using various types of waterscape extravaganzas. Why not try meshing your in-ground pool with a stupendous waterfall? Consulting with a pool construction expert will yield ideas and concepts to create a paradise with your regular or lap pool, and then add a cascading waterfall in the background, which will softly trickle down and empty into your swimming pool. A waterfall can even be placed amidst your existing landscape or new landscape to create a lush, tropical effect or paired with boulders from which water trickles or cascades down right into your pool or adjoining spa.
There are countless options for creating visual and sound effects using water, all designed to make your pool look and feel like paradise, and the benefit to you is it is the most ultimate relaxing go-to spot you could ever ask for. Although the cascading waterfall trickling into your swimming pool is the most popular waterscape concept, tropical-style fountains or even sheer waterfalls, can create a unique or exotic look to your pool. For fun and frivolity try adding spraying jets – they, like the waterfalls, add movement and drama, especially when paired with low lights for an evening setting. Special soft lights or even piped-in easy listening music with that moving water will mellow you out like nothing else. How relaxing is that?
Life’s a beach.
A getaway to a beach is the ultimate luxury, but a good pool design contractor can create that beach effect for you, just without the sand between your toes, right in your own backyard. A new concept for pools is how the edge of the pool is created. The way that a waterfall trickles from high above into a pool as you leisurely take long strokes across its expanse is the ultimate waterscape treat for upscale homes. But, couple that waterscape treatment with an edgy concept like the newest trend of how you enter your pool. As mentioned above, rectangular pools are so “yesterday” and trending pools are now found in any size or shape. Likewise, you used to be able to enter a pool only by steps or a ladder. If you like the feel of wading into the ocean, a “beach entry” pool edge creates that experience by utilizing a gradual slope from the deck into the water. Because no steps are involved, not only is the effect pretty awesome, it is ideal for children, seniors or those with special needs. What a great look if you are using the naturalistic background of a cascading waterfall. This natural transition entry into the pool takes many of space to achieve, so it is often used in combination with a multi-level transition in another area. The final result is the illusion that your pool area is along a sandy shore, not just beyond your back door.
Yup, life’s a beach.
Perhaps you are on the fence about the purchase of a swimming pool. It is a major expense after all, and since people are being much more prudent with their finances these days, what factors would most entice you into becoming a first-time pool owner? The two major factors would be personal convenience and a healthy lifestyle. A pool is a present you give yourself and your family for a lifetime of health benefits. Swimming health benefits far trump the convenience of having a pool at your disposal for a daily swimming session in warm weather months.
Feel like a swim?
Before delving into the health benefits of owning a pool, just the idea of a swim in the pool after a stressful day at work sounds inviting doesn’t it? Sure, health club memberships, a trip to the “Y” or open swimming nights at the local high school are cost-effective ways to incorporate swimming into your exercise routine, but sometimes your schedule and theirs don’t jibe. Since this is a cold-weather state, you might try those options when your backyard pool is closed for the season, but there are many, many calendar days in which to use and enjoy your own backyard pool. Swimming, just like most other forms of exercise, is a mood enhancer – it releases endorphins which help to eliminate stress and put you in “a happy place”. So, whether you start your day with a brisk morning swim, cool off with a jump in the pool during the heat of the day, or enjoy a long and leisurely night-time swim, there are many health benefits to swimming as you will see below
Different strokes for different folks
There are a wide variety of pools to suit every swimmer’s needs and backyard living space. Some people prefer the luxury of an Olympic-sized pool for leisurely swimming or simple water exercises, where other swimmers get a powerful water workout and burn off significant calories by swimming laps in a swim spa or a lap pool. A swim spa is a hybrid of a pool and spa and has water jets against which the swimmer must swim against a constant flow of water which provides an intense workout. A swim spa is ideal for small yards, as is a lap pool, because the latter’s shape is long and narrow and takes up minimal space in your backyard living area. A pool contractor in Westchester who specializes in pool construction and pool design can help you plan your swimming pool around your backyard living area as well as assist in addressing your particular pool needs.
Health benefits of swimming
Swimming on a regular basis is a wise move because swimming benefits those of all ages. It is a superlative cardiovascular and aerobic exercise, no matter what age you are, or what shape you are in. Swimming is considered to be one of the biggest calorie burners around and good for keeping weight under control. Just thirty minutes of lap swimming a day will burn up to eight times the calories of a typical sedentary activity, such as watching TV or talking on the phone. Swimming tones all the visible muscles, and conditions your most-important muscle in your body – your heart.
• Using a pool benefits older folks. Swimming offers something no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to work your body without harsh impact to your skeletal system. When the human body is submerged in water, it automatically becomes lighter. This means that the pool provides an ideal place to work stiff muscles and sore joints, especially if you are overweight or suffer from arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation endorses pool use for people with arthritis because swimming stretches muscles and that provides an aerobic workout, which loosening of the stiff joints becomes beneficial for arthritis sufferers. If the pool is heated, the warm water can loosen stiff joints and decreases the pain from osteoarthritis.
• Water workouts for weight reduction. If you are overweight, it is often difficult and taxing to just get around. Overweight people are often chastised for their inability to lose weight, for example, on an exercise program. A severe exercise program could cause pain or injury due to lack of mobility, especially in the case of morbidly obese persons. A gentler and easier way to exercise for weight reduction is by using a swimming pool. An overweight person can adjust to a swimming regimen easier than other aerobic exercises which are taxing on the body. Swimming is an excellent way to increase muscular strength and muscle tone. If someone posed the question of which exercise benefits you more – jogging or swimming, chances are you would say the former. But this is not true. A jogger while running around a track merely moves his or her body through the air, while a swimmer propels him or herself through the water, a substance which is twelve times as dense as air. That means that every kick or arm stroke becomes a resistance exercise. Resistance exercises are the best means to build muscle tone and strength.
• Swimming improves flexibility. If you are in good physical shape, that first snowfall of the year, or the Spring yard cleanup, causes the use of muscles that might not have been active in awhile, and renders you feeling like you were run over by a Mack truck the next day. Even if you exercise faithfully all year around, if you are not limber, face it – exercise to seldom-used muscles will cause you pain. At the gym, you can target specific body parts for flexibility, but this is done machine-by-machine on each part of the body and is painstaking, and might be painful. Swimming puts your entire body through a broad range-of-motion exercises that serve to keep your ligaments loose and flexible. The arms move in wide arcs, the hips are engaged as the legs scissor through the water and the head and spine twist from side to side. Every stroke you make while in the water actually serves to lengthen your body, making you more efficient in the water and giving you a good stretch from head to toe.
• Swimming is heart smart (especially for women). Besides toning you thoroughly, swimming conditions and improves the hardest-working, and most-important, muscle in the body – the heart. Swimming strengthens the heart, and, unbelievably, actually helps the heart not only become larger, but makes it more efficient at pumping blood, causing better blood flow throughout the body. According to the American Heart Association, women who exercise 30 minutes a day, like swimming, can reduce coronary heart disease as much as 30-40 percent.
More ways that swimming has a wealth of health benefits:
• Swimming has been shown to improve bone strength, especially in post-menopausal women. Swimming helps allergy sufferers, because swimming happens in the water, thus it is moist air. Asthma sufferers who were forced to give up any other type of exercise regimen due to their condition will soon find swimming on a regular basis will improve their asthma overall, even up to a year after the swimming program has ceased. Lastly, swimming reduces your blood pressure.
There you have it – all the benefits of swimming. Now, all you need to do is take the plunge and call your local pool construction contractor today.
There is nothing more important to you than your health. Good health trumps everything. Sadly, it does not matter how famous you are, or how much money you have in the bank, or even the extent of your assets, if you do not have your health all those material things are for naught.
If you enjoy swimming and have toyed with the idea of getting your own pool for convenience sake, or, just because of how good you feel since you’ve started your swimming regimen, don’t let the cost hold you back. Being smart about your money is good, but being smart about your health is better. If you were to look at the expense of having your own swimming pool in your backyard living area versus using a public pool, you likely would hold off on that pool purchase. But – not so fast. Sure, initially a pool is a large expense and there are costs for upkeep, but in the long run essentially you are better off having your own pool. Here’s a few reasons why you should factor the cost of a pool and its maintenance into your budget if possible. Continue reading