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Pool: a lifelong investment

An invite to a pool party is hardly ever followed by "boos" or "no's". It's a pretty easy sell to get a group of friends to gather around the backyard oasis for some food and fun. But beyond the chance to show off on the weekends with the enviously wonderful location for summer barbecues, the pool is useful for so much more. Diving into  refreshing water filtered by a salt system can be rejuvenating for the mind and body that can even prolong the human lifespan.

People are living longer. It's no secret. In fact, one in every five Americans is predicted to be 65 or older by 2030, according to the Center for Research on Health and Aging. Within that span of time, the human body becomes less mobile and this causes it to become less susceptible to treatments. Fortunately, health care is advancing as the human life span increases. Doctors have made breakthroughs that would have made people shake their heads in disbelief. Discoveries are the key to managing and preventing health complications.

Healthy swim
Somewhere in between learning how to measure glucose levels in tears through a contact lens and creating a chip that can be embedded into patients' organs to give a direct line of communication from an ailing body part to a doctor, researchers have discovered that a slight increase in blood pressure could have severe consequences. Recently, health care professionals have learned that patients with barely elevated blood pressure are at risk of having a stroke when it was traditionally a "disease" associated with high blood pressure, according to a recent survey conducted by the medical publication Neurology.

Twenty percent of the 760,000 respondents had suffered a stroke but had only experienced hypertension. By comparison, an average blood pressure reading is 120/80 and high is 149/90. Anything in between those numbers can be considered hypertension, which is startling to many patients who were used to thinking that their reading meant that they were in the clear for health concerns. Fortunately, the risk of stroke and other complications associated with high blood pressure can be reduced through proper diet and exercise.

Ripple effect
Aerobic swimming is good for the body because not only can it have positive long term effects, but it's a workout without harsh impact on the bones. When a person immerses themselves in water, the body bears a fraction of the weight it would on land. Repeatedly hitting the running trails can be brutal on the knees and other body parts despite the benefits. But swimming can work and stretch the muscles without the strain.

What's more is that swimming is good for the mind. Sports affect neurotransmitters in the brain and people become happy following a workout because endorphins are released. Forbes contributor Jan Bruce explained how she used swimming to reduce stress in a fun way, according to an article. Her family started playing a game a few summers ago to make exercise more appealing. They would reward themselves with meal times only following running, swimming or some other sport. To eliminate a daunting feeling associated with working for lunch and dinner, family members had the option to opt out. However, when more people participated in the game, it motivated the others to keep playing. Bruce explained that the healthy competition had the group feeling better and people started making better lifestyle choices when it came to diet and exercise. 

Even when the party is over and everyone goes home, the pool doesn't have to sit idly until the work week is over. Family members can enjoy health benefits and camaraderie even when it's not vacation.