Every May, we celebrate National Water Safety Month. Obviously, swimming safety is very important to us here at Life Saver Pool Fence. This year, we’re in the middle of some very strange times. Since May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s talk about ways to ease our minds using swimming and water activities.
What is Mental Health Awareness Month?
Mental Health Awareness Month is a very important time to focus on the overall wellbeing of our minds. Since 1949, this month of awareness has been observed across the United States. The media has brought to light important stories, events aim to get rid of he stigma that is sometimes attached to mental health, and more.
Approximately one in five people will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime. This affects the person suffering as well as their family and friends. For Mental Health Awareness Month 2020, the theme is “Tools 2 Thrive.”
According to the official website:
“The goal [of this theme] will be to provide practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of the situations they are dealing with. We now believe that these tools – even those that may need to be adapted for the short term because of COVID-19 and social distancing – will be more useful than ever.”
As many of us can see in our friends, families and even ourselves, COVID-19 and social distancing are significantly affecting people and their mental health. There are plenty of tools and tips available on the Mental Health Awareness Month website, but we’d like to discuss a different “tool” that can help you to increase your mental wellness. Fitness in both mind and body are crucial. Let’s look back on some of the ways swimming and water activities can help to soothe your nerves.
Exercise is Important
Being trapped inside all day can be stressful. A great way to keep your mind sharp and relaxed, believe it or not, is to push your body! Research shows that moderate exercise can help to boost your mood and decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Sitting on your couch all day, fighting with your spouse, or dealing with bored but energetic kids can wear you down. The best solution is to do something. Of course, that can seem easier said than done these days. Many people would normally hit the gym to burn some calories, but the pandemic has left most of these facilities temporarily closed. The same is true of many hiking trails. Fortunately, for those of us with access to a swimming pool, the answer could be in your backyard.
Swimming to the Rescue
Swimming is a nearly perfect healthy exercise. It works many of your muscle groups at once, and it is great for your cardiovascular health. Not only that, it burns calories and it low-impact on your body. But best yet, it releases endorphins. This means that you’ll very likely leave the pool feeling happier and less stressed than when you entered it. Taking a dip is great for both your body and your mind.
Swimming and COVID-19
Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page that specifically addresses all water-related COVID-19 issues. The verdict is that swimming has been found to be a perfectly safe activity during this crisis. You see, the COVID-19 virus cannot survive in well-maintained pools, spas or hot tubs. The chlorine or bromine should kill the virus in the water.
That’s great news for those of us with a private pool, but what about public pools? Unfortunately, this can get a bit tricky. For one, at your home pool, you are in charge of maintenance. You control how many people use your pool. At a community pool, you’re relying on other people to be responsible. Besides that, like gyms, many community pools are still closed.
If you are venturing to a public pool, be sure to follow approved social distancing guidelines.
While swimming, each swimmer should remain six feet apart at all times. The virus is transmitted by droplets from our mouths and noses, so even though the water may be chemically treated, there is still a risk of person-to-person infection.
To learn more, read our full post about COVID-19 and public pools.
As we’ve discussed, mental health is something that affects everyone. It’s important to take some time for yourself. Caring for your body is crucial to our overall health. If it is an option for you, swimming can really help to relieve stress during these difficult times. Just be sure to keep safety top-of-mind.