A…unique…way of emptying an above ground pool

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Cooling Weather + Falling Leaves = Pool Covers

The above formula-for-frowns is true whether we are willing to admit it or not. Summer is fading fast and fall’s cool breeze greeting is here to remind us that the end of swimming season means it’s time to break out the pool cover and winterize the pool.

If you need a new winter pool cover this fall, PcPools has you covered with great sale prices. Whether you are looking for a budget option or something top of the line, click here and you will find what you need. has one of the widest selections of covers for both in ground and above ground pools.

If your pool cover is in good shape or you’ve already placed your order for a new one – and you’ve accepted the end of summer by putting away the pool noodles and pool toys – make a list of activities that will get you and your family through fall, winter, and spring. Looking for ideas? Check out our awesome selection of indoor games!

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Myths That Affect Our Swimming Seasons!

Have you ever dove into the deep end of a swimming pool less than thirty minutes after you ate? Have you shown incredible personal restraint by avoiding an itchy mosquito bite for fear scratching it will only make things worse? Did you need to?

We all have a difficult time ignoring long-held words of wisdom. Even when confronted with facts to the contrary. Why is that? They tend to come from people of importance in our lives, like grandparents and parents, so we attribute special significance and weight to them. Let’s address a few of the most common.

Myth: You Can Spread Poison Ivy From Your Rash. Regardless of how recent a poison ivy exposure took place, the resulting rash is not contagious. That’s because the oil from the plant causes the reaction and is contagious. The blistery rash that forms on skin, which appears anywhere between 24 and 72 hours later, is unlikely to retain any of the plant’s oils by that time, so you can’t spread it to others’ skin. Note that washing the exposed area with soap and water immediately upon exposure helps minimize, and potentially prevent the rash.

Myth: Wait 30 Minutes After Eating Before Swimming. Some people report that as children they believed this myth so thoroughly that they feared death if their toe even touched pool water within 30 minutes of eating. The reality is that the worst that could happen is a cramp, thanks to a big meal or snack. Think a cramp would prevent you from swimming to safety? Try again. It’s highly unlikely a food-related cramp would disable a swimmer in any way. So, what’s the rule? There is no magic number. Instead, experts suggest swimmers jump in when they’re ready. It’s all about how you feel.

Myth: Swallowing Watermelon Seeds Is Dangerous. I was told not to swallow watermelon seeds because a watermelon plant would grow in my belly! It turns out our bodies are too acidic to support the growth of the plant. Moreover, normal digestion would harmlessly work the seed out long before it has a chance to set up shop.

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More Above Ground Pool Basketball Dunking!

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Keys for A Safe Summer of Swimming Fun

Tips for safety around and in swimming pools are nothing new, but accidents continue to happen every year so it pays to remind ourselves of best practices. Most drowning accidents involve boys younger than 5 years old, but accidents can happen to anyone so remain vigilant no matter who you are!

-An adult should always be watching children swimmers, even if there is a lifeguard on duty. You never know when someone might slip and hit their head, so don’t let the shallow water of an above ground pool fool you into thinking nothing will happen.

-Wear a lifejacket! If you’re just floating around the pool, lake, or beach, try turning it upside down and putting your legs through the arm holes. It’s a DIY floating chair!

-Keep pool safety products on hand and readily accessible. The classic lifeguard tools of a foam ring buoy and a pool safety hook are great places to start.

-Use a buddy system. It’s a great way to make friends, too 😉

-Limit alcoholic beverage intake and avoid attention-distracting activities like phone calls, reading, et cetera.

-Put a cover on the pool and remove access points like ladders (or add lockable gates to the step areas) when the pool is not in use.

-Post pool rules so they are easy to see from the pool area. Ensure everyone that enters the pool reviews them before they jump, dive, or climb in.

Keep Swimmers Safe By Ensuring They Know And Are Following The Rules

-If you own the swimming pool, limit the number of swimmers that can be in the pool at one time. Good visibility is important when seconds can count.

Enjoy the rest of the swimming season safely and happily!

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The Prevalence And Power Of Fitness Myths

The power and prevalence of fitness myths isn’t dropping. You only need a quick look online to see the widespread presence of online banner ads featuring statements like “Lose Belly Fat With This One Simple Trick” to see many myths. Despite the vast amount of resources now available at the click of a mouse, fitness myths continue to mislead and ultimately disappoint. You cannot safely lose 100 pounds in 100 days, so don’t click that link. Don’t buy the product with that promise. PcPools is here to help dispel some of the most common myths around.

1. Weight Increase Equals Fat Increase. This myth isn’t 100% false; generally speaking, adding fat will increase the number on the scale. But the addition of muscle also affects weight. In fact, because muscle is denser than fat, adding muscle will make a person weigh more but appear leaner. Also: weighing oneself every day is not an accurate gauge of daily weight gain or loss. Water & salt retention, time of day, and other factors cause fluctuation unrelated to fat retention or gain.

2. Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulky. First and foremost, most women do not have the natural levels of testosterone requisite for “bulky” muscle gain. Secondly, adding bulk requires a weightlifting program specifically designed for that purpose. Mixing weight training into a fitness regime will not add bulk, and actually helps women lean-out and tone areas of their body.

3. Exercising Allows You To Eat Whatever You Want. Exercising helps burn calories but it isn’t a magic formula. Tailor your nutrient intake to your calorie burn, including what you use up while exercising, but don’t go overboard.

Not A Myth: Swimming Pool Basketball Is Fun

4. You Can Lose Fat In Specific Areas With Specific Exercises. 500 crunches every day doesn’t produce a 6-pack. Bicep curls won’t eliminate “fat arms.” Fat cannot be spot reduced. Fat cell distribution varies from person to person and the only way to reduce fat in certain areas is to reduce your body’s overall fat content.

5. Not Sweating Means You Aren’t Working Out Hard Enough. Swimmers and swimming pool owners know this is a myth better than anyone else, but what’s the reason for it? Heart-rate is the best immediate measure of exercise effectiveness whereas sweat is merely a function of temperature regulation. The two are often correlated—so this myth is understandable—but correlation doesn’t equal causation! You can burn calories and lose weight without sweating.

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Swmming Pool Basketball At Its Finest

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Fix Small Tears or Holes In A Vinyl Pool Liner.  If your swimming pool liner has a rip or hole, don’t tear out your hair or your liner.  You can fix it!  Using a clear vinyl liner repair sealant like E-Z Patch or other repair kit, apply the liner adhesive over the rip, cut, or pinhole.  If the rip or cut is large enough, use a vinyl patch to help ensure a secure seal (clear vinyl patch included with E-Z Patch product.  Different products will have different directions, but the repair sealants typically cure fast enough to eliminate leaks in a matter of minutes, but need a day or two to fully cure for long-term stability.

Build A Poolside Bar.  If the Pool & Spa bar and bar stools available in the PcPools Backyard Décor section are out of your summer spending budget, or you just want to tackle a fun DIY woodworking project, building a poolside bar is a great option for a summer project.  Just make sure you get it done in time to enjoy those outdoor parties!

Swimming Pool Accessories DIY Drying Rack

Built A Poolside Accessories Rack.  In the hands of a capable DIY-er, simple PVC pipe and connectors are enough to create a handy, attractive storage option for swimming pool owners.  Especially if you have kids and lots of swimmers!  PVC pipe is cheap, enabling pool owners to design a rack customized to their needs.  Options include the above-pictured drying rack style design, or a toy chest-like storage bin using PVC bars and mesh netting.

Resurface A Pool Patio.  A bright, clean pool deck and patio area can enhance the attractiveness of a pool or spa area, as well as enhance safety.  For best results on wood decks, pressure wash the area, replace rotting boards, and re-stain the entire area.  If your deck area is concrete or if stain won’t do the trick, try the PcPools Pool and Deck Paint section for other ideas.

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Pools Filled With Beer: They Exist

Pools Filled With Beer: They Exist.

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The Changing Face of Sunscreen

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen.  It’s allows us to be out in the warmth of the sun for hours on end enjoying the pool, running around in the yard, or whatever outdoor activity strikes our fancy.  But applying it takes time and effort.  So does re-applying it every few hours or after swimming or sweating it off.  Regardless, it seemed like a straightforward product.  Choose between oil and lotion (spray or not), a range of SPFs, and some more specific formulations that were good for “Sport” or were “Water Resistant” for swimmers.  That was it.  Seemed simple.

Not according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  In recently released final regulations covering sunscreen products, the FDA set forth a variety of measures designed to force manufacturers to adhere to certain rules so that consumers can better understand the sunscreen products they are buying.   The compliance dates were extended to December 17, 2012, so many consumers are buying or recently bought their first sunscreen products that were subject to the new rules.

So what are the new FDA measures?  The biggest change is to the meaning of “Broad Spectrum”.  Sunscreen with that term must now block UVA and UVB rays, whereas formerly most products branded with “Broad Spectrum” only protected against UVB rays.  UVA rays are now linked to premature skin aging and skin cancer.   Other changes includes ban on words like “Waterproof” or “Sweatproof”, warning labels for SPFs under 15, and a statement of the number of minutes for which the sunscreen is effective.

Spending time in the sun can be tons of fun and is an absolute must for swimming pool owners.  But remember to protect yourself from early skin aging, skin cancer risk, and sunburns with a combination of sun protection measures: apply sunscreen as directed, limit sun exposure during peak UV times (10 am to 2 pm), and protect skin with clothing or patio umbrellas.

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