It's that wonderful time of year when the weather warms up and we can feel comfortable being outside. Going for a walk is much easier and more inviting now compared to in the winter. Strengthening our muscles with gardening, lawn care and landscaping has been forced upon us. And, all of a sudden, our bodies are sore or possibly injured from doing too much.

We also get a burst of energy from the warmth and we're running here and there to baseball games, soccer games, end of the year school activities, church events and family gatherings. All of this is good and a part of our life, but do we plan at least one day a week for relaxing? A body needs to relax.

A great place to relax is in a warm water pool. The buoyancy of the water has a lifting effect on the body. When you go deeper and the water is up to your neck, you only feel approximately ten percent of your body weight. All of a sudden, your joints feel better because you don't have your body weight pressing on them. As you move in the warm water, your ligaments, tendons and muslces are stretching and becoming more pliable. You feel good and your face shows it. I rarely see an unhappy person at a swimming pool.

So enjoy this time of year when access to warm water is readily available. Get in, stretch out and make yourself more flexible. Flexibility training is recommended two to three times per week. There are ways to stretch on land and a good fitness trainer can help you with that. But if you simply walk around or hang out in your warm pool water, you can take advantage of flexibility yourself.

Turn your pool into your very own fitness center. Use the benefits of the water to help you feel better. Here's to your good health.

About the author: Jonathan Souder is the fitness director at Manor House, an ACTS Retirement-Life Community in Seaford. Email your thoughts to

pools are a great place to exercise