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A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying an Above-Ground Pool

A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying an Above-Ground Pool

When I was about seven, my parents put in an above-ground pool. It was only April, and the water was freezing, but I swam until my lips were blue. I loved it.

As soon as my dad got everything set up for the year, I swam every day. I would beg my parents to keep the pool open just another week, and not close up for the winter. As soon as I was old enough, my dad taught me how to check the chemicals, and it became one of my chores.

It was probably a huge expense for my parents to put in a pool, but I would recommend it to anyone who is considering adding one to their backyard… especially if they have a kid like me.

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    1. Find Out if It’s Legal

    It’s always a good idea to check local zoning laws or, if applicable, ask your homeowner’s association. For example, some neighborhoods have pools, but the HOA doesn’t allow people to place one on their property.

    Also, make sure to have the city come out and mark where the power lines in your yard are, so the installation crew doesn’t hit them if they do any digging.

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    2. Decide Where to Put It

    Assuming everything checks out legally, you have to think about where you’re going to put the pool in the backyard. It’s important to consider the layout of the yard. Some yards have a slope that will have to be leveled.

    Also, make sure that enough sunlight will hit the pool during the day to make the water warm enough to be pleasant. Try to work around any trees, or consider cutting them back if they give too much shade (they can also dump leaves in the pool, which isn’t fun to clean up).

    Additionally, be careful when you are considering how to arrange the deck. If you’re planning a whole yard overhaul with a deck that runs from the house to pool, there may be certain zoning restrictions or laws. This kind of goes with the first point: you have to be aware of laws that dictate how close a pool can be to the house.

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    Your contractor should know this and abide by these laws, but it’s not a bad idea to do some of your own research ahead of time, when you’re deciding where to place the pool.

    Swimmer

      3. Size Matters

      Pools come in various shapes and diameters — there are oval pools and round pools — and they vary in depth as well. Consider what would work best for your yard and your budget.

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      Obviously, bigger pools are going to cost more, and oval pools also tend to be more expensive. You also have to think in terms of how much water the pool will require: if it’s going to take longer to fill, you’ll need more chemicals to make sure the water is safe for the family.

      The shape of the pool might also be determined by the shape of your yard. If the backyard is long and skinny, an oval pool might be your only option. If the yard is more squat, you may be limited to a round pool.

      4. Consider It an Investment

      Despite what you might think, pools generally don’t add value to your house when you go to sell it. What they do add value to is the time you spend in your backyard with your family.

      Pools are not something you should install casually; they can mean a lot of upkeep for little return. But there’s nothing better than hanging out in the backyard, floating around on a pool noodle, and watching your kid cannonball off the porch in a fit of glee.

      One of my favorite pictures from my older brother’s graduation is one of him and me in the pool: me in my dress and him in his graduation robes. Pools create memories, and that can make them worth any expense.

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      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

      1. Exercise Daily

      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

      The basic nutritional advice includes:

      • Eat unprocessed foods
      • Eat more veggies
      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

        5. Watch Out for Travel

        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

        6. Start Slow

        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

        Final Thoughts

        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

        More Tips on Getting in Shape

        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

        Reference

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