Leaving the house for a workout, huh? Better make sure you have your phone, keys, wallet, a mask, hand sanitizer, and just enough stress to remember to stay safe out there. But before you go, I’ve got something important to say: listen, there’s a better way. The best gym available to you is a sixty-second commute away, in open space, and available all to yourself. It’s your pool, and it’s already in your own backyard.
Unfortunately, gyms are not considered safe from COVID-19, and have been known to transmit the virus. But your pool is safe, and swimming is the ideal way to exercise for many reasons—using it as your personal gym during the pandemic should be a no-brainer. I’ll explain how COVID-19 behaves according to health experts, the research behind COVID-19 and gyms, the importance of recreation during stressful times, why your pool is safe, and why swimming is the best workout. Let’s get to it.
Refresher on COVID-19
Everyone knows what the virus is. But since information enters the public from a wide range of sources—some more credible than others—it’s important to get on the same page. I’ll be citing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for every fact. They’re the national health authority, and it just doesn’t get more credible than that.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the COVID-19 virus, which is officially named SARS-COV-2. The CDC reports that anyone with COVID-19 can have mild to severe symptoms—that means no matter what your age or health condition. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, or not at all. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell. sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. The CDC reports that this may be an incomplete list.
If someone is showing any signs of trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the best, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, or any other severe symptoms, it’s important to seek emergency medical care immediately.
To keep your circulation system in top shape, you’ll need a reliable, powerful, and energy-saving pump like the 2 HP Energy Star Variable Speed In Ground Blue Torrent Cyclone Pump to make sure all your water is sanitized. Plus, it comes with a free warranty, is eligible for rebates, and pays itself off in under a year. According to customer James Robinson, “Great price, quick shipping and delivery. Installed it and turned it on, and it was so quiet that we both reached down to feel if it was vibrating! Simple controls. I’d buy it again.”
COVID-19 and Gyms
It seems like every month gyms are allowed to open and then mandated to be closed by local health authorities across the nation. That’s because they are often spaces in which people have close contact in closed spaces for a continuous amount of time—but even with social distancing measures, constant wipe-downs, and open windows, gyms aren’t free of risk. According to the CDC, “COVID-19 has been shown to spread at gyms, fitness classes, and studios.” Differing factors that could affect risk include proximity, mask use, exertion level (low-intensity workouts are recommended), ventilation, frequently touched surfaces, clean hands, number of people, and duration.
How COVID-19 Spreads
According to the CDC, the virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact (within about six feet) with one another. Here’s how:
Thought to be the Main Way the Virus Spreads:
Through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection.
Not Thought to be the Main Way the Virus Spreads:
Through droplets that land on surfaces and objects and are transferred by touch. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
Another Possible Way the Virus Spreads:
It is possible that COVID-19 may spread through the droplets and airborne particles that are formed when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond six feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.
It’s All About Recreation
During the COVID-19 pandemic, gyms just aren’t guaranteed to be safe. But that doesn’t mean that it’s time to forget about exercise until around the time vaccines become widely available. In fact, exercise is imperative to your wellbeing—not only also during a pandemic, but especially during a pandemic. Although the extent to which we each feel stress and the different ways we express stress varies, it’s fair to say that the pandemic is on everyone’s minds and has changed life for us all.
The CDC has always reported how important it is to stay physically active (because remember, their organization existed before this pandemic). But recently, they’ve also highlighted exercise as one healthy way to cope with the stress that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic. They recommend regular exercise as part of taking care of your body, and also advise that we all make time to unwind.
It’s no surprise that the CDC advises that we get physical activity at or near our homes during the pandemic. Exercise reduces blood pressure and anxiety, and helps you sleep better—boosts that we all probably need around now. They also report that “it’s possible—and important—to be physically active while social distancing.” Exercise might be healthy, but that doesn’t mean you should put yourself unnecessarily at risk of contracting the virus. That just wouldn’t make sense, would it?
Looking to extend the swim season as much as you can, so that you can safely get out and have fun? A heat pump is the answer for you—but you’ll want a powerful unit that will save you on your energy bill every month, like the Energy-Saving ComforTemp Pool Heat Pump 95,000 BTU to heat 18,000 Gallons. According to customer Steve, “Simple install and simple set up. Heated my pool from 66 to 82 degrees in about 2 complete days.”
Your Gym Might Not Be Safe—But Your Pool Is
Thankfully, as a pool owner you can get all the benefits of exercise without any of the risks of contracting the COVID-19 virus. And thank goodness for that—physical activity is just not as relaxing when we feel like we’re putting our lives on the line. Consider that stress avoided.
COVID-19 is Not Believed to Transmit in Water
According to (you guessed it) the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to humans through the use of recreational waters. This finding was only released after the better part of a year of testing and research— while it seems proven enough for the CDC to report, they also make it clear that this is as much as we know at this time. Thankfully, sanitizer has been proven for decades to wipe out similar viruses, so even in the remote likelihood that it turns out the virus can transmit in water, you can count on chlorine and bromine to wipe out the bad guys fast.
The Sanitizing Powers of Chlorine and Bromine
Even before the CDC was able to report no evidence, their recommendation was to make sure that the pool in question was properly sanitized, since the right dose of chlorine or bromine is known to wipe out other harmful viruses. With proper pool operation and maintenance,
most experts believe that transmission of the COVID-19 virus through water is virtually impossible.
And hey—since sanitizer has been proven to wipe out other viruses, this is an especially vital time to stay on top of your chlorine or bromine levels. The last thing anyone wants during a pandemic is to be compromised by another disease.
Making Bubbles with Your Bubble
Another reason why your pool is considered safe is because you’re swimming with members of your own household. Just like you typically don’t have to worry about wearing a mask around your own family members, you can swim without worrying about social distancing measures, not touching pool rails, or wearing a mask in the water—which, by the way, is never recommended, since masks are difficult to breathe through when they’re wet.
To keep your sanitizer working, it’s important to shock your pool about once a week. I recommend tried and true shock like the Super Premium Sanitizing and Fast-Acting Pool Shock. Not only does it work fast in your water, but its conveniently packaged in one-pound bags, so you never have to worry about measuring yours out again. As customer W Graves says, “Perfectly good shock at a third of the regular brick-and-mortar stores’ price. What’s not to like?”
Why a Swim is the Best Workout
Not only is swimming in your own pool safe from the COVID-19 virus, but it’s also well-known to be one of the best workouts known to man. This is partly because in order to swim, you propel your body against the resistance of the water. Since most pools have a tens of thousands of gallons of water, well—that’s a lot of resistance.
It Gets the Whole Body Working
No more quad days necessary. In order to resist that water, nearly all of your muscles are used during swimming. Many fitness buffs can find that they’ve been neglecting one part of the body while focusing on others. With swimming, your whole body gets the workout it needs.
Low Impact, Lower Chance of Injury
Have a bad knee, hip, or any other body part? No worries, swimming is what is called low-impact, meaning that it doesn’t put as much of a strain on your body as other workouts. It also means that it’s less likely to sustain or worsen some injuries or conditions.
Listen to Your Heart!
Swimming can strengthen your heart and keep it healthy, partly because it increases your heart rate without any impact stress on your body. It can also build heart endurance—all while improving coordination, balance, posture, and flexibility. If your heart could talk... it would probably request a few laps.
Keep your sanitizer working at its highest capacity by switching to a powerful automatic cleaner that works on its own to keep your pool sparkling clean. Look no further than the Blue Torrent MyBot Inground Robotic Cleaner, which works powerfully on its own to keep your walls and floor sparkling clean. As customer David Lain says, “Very pleased. My wife loves it.”
It’s All Working Out!
Whew, that’s one silver (or crystal blue) lining to a really difficult and trying time. We’re all looking forward to when this pandemic finally ends. But in the meantime, you have a safe, healthy, and relaxing way to keep your body strong and cope with all the emotions a global crisis brings. Take it one lap at a time. And don’t forget, however you can, to enjoy.