If you want to get more shut-eye, try swimming more often. Several researchers and fitness enthusiasts have agreed that exercise, such as swimming, can potentially help this issue, which, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a big problem. Somewhere between 50 and 70 million Americans have sleep issues and, in addition to the short term side effects that have been felt by just about anyone who hasn't had a good night's sleep – difficulty concentrating or remembering things, grogginess, baggy eyes – not getting a proper amount of sleep can have long term health consequences. Lack of sleep is associated with obesity, diabetes, depression and hypertension. People who'd like to improve overall health should look no further than their own backyards.
Working for your sleep
In 2013, researchers from the National Sleep Foundation released results from a study in which they found an association between swimming and sleep. The organization administered a poll in which they asked participants about their exercise and sleep habits. Those who worked out on a light, moderate or rigorous basis indicated that they got a good night's sleep nearly every night when compared to those who didn't exercise at all.
Healthy sleep, happy life
The poll task force chair Max Hirshkowitz explained that the exercise was more likely affecting sleep habits and not the other way around. He went on to say that it's more likely that exercising improves sleep, and furthermore, a proper night's shut-eye is crucial for health, productivity and happiness. People can reap exercise-induced benefits by making little changes in their day-to-day lives.
"If you're inactive, adding a 10 minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night's sleep," said Hirshkowitz. "Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better."
Start out small
As Hirshkowitz pointed out, people who don't exercise frequently can potentially achieve better sleep habits with just a little effort. It can be challenging, however, to start a fitness regime. To spark motivation, try taking the kids or a friend with you to swim, suggested the NHS. This technique can be effective if you choose a partner who has similar skills as you. Not only will you help boost each other's morale but you can also encourage one another to get in the water on days when you'd rather hang out indoors.
Don't underestimate the power of variety. Doing the same thing over and over again can get old fast. The NHS suggested changing things up in the water. You can do this a number of ways: joining a club, learning new techniques, playing games and alternate pool locations.
Improve your pool
Finally, making your pool more personal and comfortable can motivate you to swim more often. Investing in new gym products and equipment made Women's Fitness list of top 10 ways to boost motivation in 2012. Purchasing new equipment keeps your routine fresh, according to the source.
If you'd like to give your workout an extra boost, consider installing one of the following features:
- Make your pool heated because warmer water can soothe your muscles after a workout.
- A salt system generator has less chlorine, which is great for your eyes and skin if you use the pool more frequently.
- Automation allows you to control your pool from the water so you won't have to interrupt your workout if you need to change the temperature.
- LED lights illuminate the pool so that you can get your workout in at night, after a day at the office.