Fun and Fitness Combined: Upgrading Your Yard into a Fountain of Youth



The Fountain of Youth is a legendary location said to give all those who drink from it everlasting youth. While many have claimed to have found it, science has still not discovered a source of eternal youth derived from any known fountain. Science has concluded that exercise, including swimming, provides several benefits to keep us fit, healthy, and feeling younger longer when done regularly and when combined with a great diet. 


Now, we can debate on diets somewhere else, but I wanted to share other ways you can utilize your backyard space combined with your pool to feel great and live a long, healthy life. Health and fitness isn’t just another pool topic for me; I love working out! I’m young and plan to keep feeling that way for as long as possible. I regularly lift weights, go to martial arts several times a week, and see a physical therapist twice a month to maintain my body’s overall well-being. 


The Sauna

Several athletes I work with have added saunas to their homes since the pandemic and over the last eight years. There are two main types of saunas: regular steam, stone, and infrared. I prefer infrared saunas simply to avoid any risk of personal injury from the stones, and infrared saunas are a cheaper investment. Now, I’ll admit, what has me most recommending adding a sauna to your backyard space first, is a study that only recently came to my attention. This study dates back to 1975 and shows that by sitting in the sauna once a week for three 30-minute periods, participants found their HGH levels to increase by as much as 150%.


Without diving into a science lesson, everyone produces HGH naturally. When our bodies are done growing, HGH helps to maintain our body’s structure, metabolism and keeps our glucose (blood sugar) levels in healthy ranges. The higher our HGH, the more all these things are in line.


There are other significant advantages to the sauna, of course. Namely, they help with breathing conditions even in healthy individuals and help to detoxify the body. My sauna was my first investment when I got my house; even before renovating, to make plans to renovate to add to our pool. 



Yes, Yes, I know – I just recommended you get a sauna, and now I’m telling you to get what amounts to an ice box. I’m a nut. I may be a nut that cryotherapy has some great, studied benefits ranging from muscle recovery to being used as a cancer treatment (read: not cure). My body runs hot, and after a workout, it runs even hotter; after several days of intense work, I’m incredibly sore, which led me to discover cryotherapy.


 Admittedly, I don’t own a cryotherapy chamber – I’m lucky that my primary care facility has one, but I bought and utilized a cold plunge tub for a long time before I discovered my primary care facility. Significantly cheaper, easier to install, and less intimidating, I hopped into an ice bath once a day and did my best to keep in. 


Depending on your geographical location, this may or may not appeal to you. You may say, “Well, it’s cold outside, that’s good enough,” and fair enough, but the water also greatly benefits your skin and circulation. Even if you’re not a fan of the cold, I’d recommend doing a cold plunge challenge for even a week to see if it’s something you could adapt to. 

Green Spaces

No fancy technology, no weird futuristic chambers here. Good, old-fashioned, green thumb hard work. Living landscapes are essential to any outdoor lifestyle and have many physical benefits. A 2015 Dutch research study found those living within a half mile of green space, such as parks or gardens, were found to have a lower incidence of fifteen diseases — including depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and migraines. A similar study found that those living on streets with more treats had increased heart and metabolic health and improved memory by as much as 20%. 


We can transform our backyard spaces into more than simply a pool and yard in several ways. A greenhouse would give us access to growing plants, flowers, or vegetables all year or a raised garden to make things more natural. In place of long large fences, we can plant green trees for our kids to enjoy and climb. 

Look at your backyard with a sense of purpose and think of it as more than just a chore but an active hobby with your partner or an educational tool for your (potential) kids. These are all options not just for decorating or health benefits but for leading fuller and more meaningful lives and transforming our homes from where we sleep to the place of our dreams. 



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