Whether you are the envy of the neighborhood with a big inground pool or the proud owner of a metal wall above ground pool, your time in the pool and maintaining it delivers more than just summer refreshment. Cleaning, playing, splashing, swimming and working around your pool are all great forms of physical activity that help you burn calories and maybe even loose a few pounds.
First, some facts: The more you weigh, the more you burn than a lighter person while doing the same activities. Think of it terms of a small car uses less gasoline than a large truck does to go the same distance. Replace gas with calories and the vehicles for people, and you get the picture. According to Harvard Medical School, a 125-pound person will burn about 180 calories in 30 minutes of leisure swimming. People who weigh 155 pounds will burn around 223 calories, and at 185 pounds a casual swimmer will burn about 266 calories during that half hour of swimming.
With that information in mind, we’ve calculated how many calories you could burn with certain everyday pool activities. Cleaning the pool with a leaf net for 30 minutes could help you burn 200 calories while cleaning pool walls with a telescoping pole and wall brush burns about 150 calories or more. Spending 15 minutes inflating a medium-sized pool float like that cute yellow rubber ducky the kids love can burn at least 72 calories. After getting in the pool and playing Marco Polo with the kids for 30 minutes? That will burn about 400 calories.
If you have a pool with a diving board, or you go to a public or commercial pool with a diving board, know that jumping off and swimming to the bottom of the pool and then to the pool ladder or stairs for 15 minutes throughout the day can burn 230 calories or more. Leisurely swimming (not swimming laps or training competitively) for 30 minutes can burn up to 340 calories or more while walking in the water that’s up to your waist can burn 264 calories or more in a half hour.
When the day’s fun is over, and it’s time to pick up around the pool, putting away pool toys and towels can burn 143 calories in 30 minutes. Of course, the more pool floats, noodles and beach balls the kids leave lying around, the longer it takes to pick up and the more calories you’re going to burn.