As we begin this New Year, we are given a fresh start and many times a fresh outlook on what we want to accomplish in the future. Often times this includes looking to the past to determine if there are things that we would change if we were able to do so. Do we wish we had exercised more in the past? Do we wish we had more time together as a family? Spend more time outdoors? Whether you call them New Year’s resolutions or goals or even something else, the beginning of the year often times gives us hope that we have another chance.
I am a goal setter. I enjoy the setting goals and I enjoy even more accomplishing these goals. I do not accomplish every goal that I set out to, but I accomplish enough of them that I am a big advocate of the power of goal setting. Everyone that sets goals have their own personal way of doing it, but several methods that have helped me in goal setting are:
- Writing goals down on paper and reviewing them periodically.
- Setting goals that are attainable. For example, if you want to lose weight, set a goal that you can reach, not a goal that will be next to impossible to reach.
- Setting monthly goals instead of annual goals. This will give you 12 opportunities to succeed, and if you fail, you will have another chance the next month to succeed.
Although I have many goals, two of my personal goals for 2011 relate to swimming pools. They are exercise and spending more time with my family.
Exercise & Swimming Pools
One of my goals annually is to maintain my exercise program. I have been a runner (and I use that term loosely) for many years, so for me, my goal is to recommit to exercise for 2011. As a runner, I know the impact that running can have on my knee joints and my back, and I am beginning to feel it in my left knee. Therefore, in 2011, I plan on doing less running and more bike riding and swimming to lessen the load on my body. Swimming (or aquatic exercise), is really increasing in popularity as many exercise enthusiasts are now turning to it. Aquatic exercise is an activity that millions of people are engaging in and it is gaining in popularity. It is easy on your joints and back, and has been used in sports rehabilitation and physical rehabilitation for years. It is used not only for rehabilitation, but it offers other benefits as well; increasing lung capacity, burning calories, toning and strengthening muscles, and the list goes on.
When we think of aquatic exercise, we tend to think of the lap swimming, water walking or jogging, or water aerobics. Although these are excellent forms of exercise, aquatic exercise equipment that was once available only for professional gyms and fitness centers has now become available for pool owners such as webbed gloves (which provide resistance for upper body conditioning), buoyancy belts (allow you to exercise in deep water allowing your body to be suspended while keeping your head above water), water weights (used for resistance training to improve muscle development), swim cords (A bungee style line that is secured around your ankle and around a ladder, rope anchors, etc. which allows you to swim in place—the swim cord is my personal favorite) exercise paddles (which simulate rowing movements which tones and strengthens your upper body), and kickboards (still one the most common aquatic exercise aids). As with any exercise program, it is important to check with your physician prior to beginning an aquatic exercise program.
Even though it is winter and outdoor pools are very cold, this is an excellent time of year to begin aquatic exercise.
Family & Swimming Pools
A very good way to spend more time with family is at home around a swimming pool. An increasing number of families are recognizing the enjoyment that they can find at their own home by creating a backyard environment that the whole family can enjoy. Most of us enjoy being outdoors, but what people are doing to transform their backyards is taking relaxing and enjoyment to a new level. The drive to create these backyard environments originated with the nesting phenomenon of the 1990s, when dual-income families were so exhausted at the end of the day that they felt the need to relax in the comfortable surroundings of their own homes. In addition, families desired to be together and moms and dads were seeking ways to reconnect with their children. This trend has continued with the desire to be together with family in a safe environment.
Today’s backyard environments can include swimming pools, creative landscaping, decking, furniture, backyard shelters, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, outdoor sound systems, putting greens, tennis courts, billiard areas, wet bars, outdoor televisions, or children’s play areas, as well as other elements.
As we continue into the New Year, may we all be successful with our resolutions and goals and have an enjoyable and meaningful 2011.