The Winter Recreation Experience

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It can’t be summer all the time, but there are ways to enjoy some outdoor recreation at home even in the cooler months. If you’re someone who likes to stay active or you need space to regularly unwind, you have options. While the winter experience may feel frustrating, it doesn’t have to be. Here are just a few ways you can enjoy the winter recreation experience. 

Get Some Exercise in a Swim Spa

Unlike outdoor swimming pools, swim spas provide a place to swim all year round. If swimming is your fitness go-to and you don’t have the opportunity to get to a local pool every day, then a swim spa is a perfect option. Swim spas provide a whole-body workout that’s easy on the joints and muscles.

Imagine stepping just outside to your very own warm swim spa every morning. You can get your exercise done early, charging your energy for the rest of the day. Or, swim some laps in the evening to relax and unwind at the end of the day. 

Swim spas are far more affordable to put in than an inground pool and they’re easier to maintain too. They also don’t require a lot of room, so you can fit them in a smaller yard or even some indoor spaces.

Boost Your Immunity in the Sauna

It’s no secret that winter comes with an increased risk of catching germs. However, there are many things you can do to boost your immunity and enjoy a little wintertime recreation. While none are foolproof, it’s always a great idea to do what you can to be your healthiest. 

Did you know that, in addition to being relaxing, saunas are one of those immunity boosters? This is how it works: The sauna’s heat brings your core temperature up and your heart rate increases too. This causes blood pressure to improve as the blood vessels open. The stress hormone (cortisol) goes down. The body starts putting out endorphins (the feel-good hormones). More white blood cells are produced, boosting your immunity system and even burning more calories, all while you sweat out toxins. 

In addition to all its wonderful immunity and health-boosting effects, getting in the sauna on a chilly night is a perfect way to warm up. It’s also a great spot for a cozy, stay-at-home date night. 

Unwind in the Hot Tub

You know that feeling when you’re just chilled to the bone and it seems like nothing can warm you up? Hot tubs are the answer. When you have an inviting hot tub in your backyard you never have to suffer from that bone-chilling cold for long.

Sure, it’s nice to take a soothing dip in the hot tub at any time of the year, but in the winter it’s especially enjoyable. We often don’t spend as much time outside during the cooler months, but hot tubs provide a wonderful opportunity to relax outdoors in the winter. There’s nothing quite like taking a peaceful nighttime soak surrounded by the great outdoors. It’s invigorating to breathe in the brisk air while enjoying an envelope of warmth. Once you head back in, you’ll be cozy and relaxed in preparation for bedtime.

Take an Icy Polar Bear Swim

Of course, if you already have an inground pool and you have nerves of steel, you may want to indulge in a quick polar bear swim. Typically seen taking place in lakes and rivers on New Year’s Day, the Polar Bear Plunge has become an oddly popular activity for some swim enthusiasts.

Experts say that, while you may be tempted to jump in all at once, it’s safer to wade in a bit at a time so that your body has a chance to adjust. Be sure to have a buddy with you to ensure that everything is done safely. Also, if you have high blood pressure or an increased heart rate, it’s best to skip this activity as polar plunges boost heart rate and blood pressure.

Winter Pool Cover

Those who have a pool in the backyard need to be mindful of pool care over the winter months. Yes, even when it’s not in regular use, your pool still needs a bit of upkeep. You’ll be thankful you did it once spring rolls around. In the meantime, here’s what you need to do to maintain your pool.

Winter pool covers keep contaminants out and help maintain water levels and balance in the pool. The first step of winter pool care is to keep the cover free of debris. Twigs and sticks can poke holes in your cover and leaves can clog up the cover pump. Try using a leaf blower or leaf net to clear the build-up.

Standing water is another issue as it puts added pressure on your cover. Keep it clear with a cover pump. Be sure to periodically check on the tension and integrity of the cover to ensure that it’s properly protecting your pool. Also, check on the pool’s water level from time to time over the winter to be sure that it remains below the skimmer, but no more than 18 inches below the cover. 

Swimming Pools in the Snow

Different types of pools need different care over the winter months. If you’re a pool owner, it’s important to know how to care for your specific type of pool. Talk to the pool professionals about the appropriate way to care for your specific inground pool. Typically the pool’s water level needs to remain below the level of the skimmer. Keep an eye on water levels over the winter to ensure that they don’t rise. Making sure that the cover remains intact over the winter helps maintain these levels and also shields the pool from debris. Once the weather starts warming up, take a water sample to the professionals to test chemical levels and advise you on when to open.

Launch Your Winter Recreation Routine

Whether you’re interested in a hot tub, swim spa, or sauna, Orange County Pools and Spas is here for you. We also have all the supplies to need to care for your pools and spas over the winter and beyond. Get in touch today to find out more!

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