Between holiday shopping and endless parties, it almost seems counterintuitive to sit by the pool for a few hours a week, but it may be just what you need. A swim, nap and some UV rays can potentially keep you less stressed and in shape during this hectic time of year. Here are three reasons why the holiday season is the perfect time to leave a little wiggle room in your schedule so you can chill by the pool.
1. The stress relief
When you're in the midst of wrapping presents, singing Christmas carols for the tenth time and trying to still focus on work, you might feel isolated. But the fact is that you're not alone. So many people feel the weight of stress bearing down on them during this time of year.
But despite your time constraints, it's important to not let exercise fall by the wayside. Doing so can hurt your mind and body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Instead, continue to muscle through and incorporate physical activity into your life. Whether you're doing laps or crunches in your salt system pool, it's worth your time.
2. Avoid holiday weight gain
Additionally, working out in the pool is your golden ticket to avoid packing on the pounds that are inevitable this time of year – and you don't even have to forgo the gingerbread cookies. It's a win-win.
That being said, this is no time to try to lose a ton of weight. You may only end up discouraging yourself in the long run. As Julia Renee Zumpano, R.D., L.D., explained on the Cleveland Clinic website, people should stick to maintaining weight this time of year.
"I recommend to my patients that they just try to keep their current weight, as opposed to focusing on losing weight," Zumpano explained on the site. "Even though it's hard to resist temptations all around you, there are simple steps you can take that can keep the extra holiday pounds off."
You don't have to be the person in the corner of the party with the carrots, but you also shouldn't go overboard. However, if you do feel like you've overindulged, at least you've got your awesome pool to burn off the calories.
3. Sunshine makes you smile
Don't underestimate the power of some sunshine during the winter months when the days are shorter. As Healthline explained, it's a way to boost serotonin, which are the chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy.
The site explained this theory by citing research from the Baker Heart Research Institute in Melbourne. The group found that during the winter months, you typically omit lower levels of serotonin, which can alter your mood or make you feel glum.
Just a few minutes in the sunshine can make you feel more like yourself. Spend some time by the pool if you need a quick fix for the holiday chaos.