Pool Noodles, Solving Problems You Didn't Even Know You Had

I recently discovered the wonders of pool noodles. If you aren't familiar with them they are long thin round somewhat flexible pieces of buoyant foam. They are pool toys. These wondrous things seem to be available at toy stores and dollar stores everywhere. Just in case you don't know what I am talking about, this is a pool noodle.

pool-noodle-light-saber

Although they are typically thought of as pool toys the humble pool noodle is useful for so much more. Here are three great uses my wife and I have discovered.

Door Stop

Now that we have a baby we have a new found need to keep doors slightly ajar. Enough to keep the room containing our napping baby dark and as quiet as possible but with the door slightly open so that we can hear our baby stirring. We also want a guarantee that the door won't slam shut and wake our baby now that we have finally got her to sleep.

We had been getting by, using a shoe as a door stop, until a bolt of inspiration struck.

pool-noodle-on-door

A thin slice of pool noodle solved our problem once and for all. Its laughably simple but works brilliantly.

But how do you cut pool noodle? With a bread knife of course! Don't worry, it is easy to do. It takes maybe three seconds to saw off a slice of pool noodle.

pool-noodle-being-cut

After some experimentation we found the below to be the optimal way to cut door stops. Cutting it this way causes it to tightly grip the door. Don't worry if you get it wrong. A single pool noodle contains the potential for dozens of door stops if required.

how-to-cut-a-pool-noodle

Massage roller

This was recommended to us for child birth. We didn't actually use it during labor but we have used it a few times since.

Cut a length of pool noodle roughly the width of your partner's back. Now, roll it up and down their back. Apply a bit of force. They aren't made of glass.

I personally still prefer manual massage, ie with hands rather than a roller, but the roller is great if your hands start to get tired mid massage.

Chest stretching device

Lay a pool noodle on the floor then lay on top of it, face up, so that it runs down your spine. It should be supporting the weight of your upper body. Spread your arms out to the side with the backs of your hands resting on the floor, if you can reach. You should feel tension in the muscles around your chest as well as some weird "ooh, this is new" sensations in muscles either side of your spine.

Now just chill out for a minute or so.

If you spent a lot of time driving, using a computer or performing any other activity that requires you to use both your arms in front of you (like changing and carrying a baby), chances are you have become conditioned to having the muscles across your chest partially contracted most of the day.

Laying on your pool noodle opens up those chest muscles and gives them a chance to get a good stretch.

How Much Would You Expect To Pay For All This?

So how much is this miraculous device? Well, I think I paid $2. Two bucks solved our door issue and has resulted in my wife and I having significantly less back pain. Easily the best bargain I have found in a long time.

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