Most of us are drawn to water from an early age. As infants, we get to splash in the kitchen sink during bath time. Eventually, we graduate up to the big-people tub where we can almost swim in its depths. Then, it’s on to the little kiddie pools. Adolescence and the teenage years see us gravitating toward bigger, better options like the community swimming pool. All the while, the lake sits a few miles away, or several as the case may be, calling to us no matter the season or circumstances. Either way, the water is a great place to play and cool off on a hot summer’s day, especially if you have an exercise swimming pool.
It’s not until adulthood we begin to realize the practicality of it all. Our bodies don’t seem to burn off fat and calories quite the same way they once did. After spending eight hours or more at work, tending to the children and taking care of grown-up responsibilities, little time is left for exercise or play. Still, thoughts of relishing in the cool, relaxing midst of a natural or man-made expanse of water beckon from afar. Having a pool of our own doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
The Benefits of Having Your Own Swim in Place Pool
Swimming has been deemed one of the best forms of exercise for a number of reasons. First of all, if you’re working out in the water, you’re bound to stay cooler than you would on the sidewalk or in a crowded gym. You’re also doubly blessed by getting all the stress-relieving side effects of burning energy as well as those known to come from spending time in the water. The health benefits don’t end there.
- Water offers natural resistance, so taking your workout into the pool helps burn more calories and fat than gravity alone while also building greater muscle tone and endurance.
- You use more muscles in the water than on land, but you don’t fully realize it because of the buoyancy effect.
- Swimming is a low-impact aerobic activity perfect for those with a range of injuries or joint conditions.
- Since you’re working almost all your muscles, you’re strengthening your entire body, which helps increase balance and coordination. It’s a core workout sans the use of those awkward, and even dangerous, exercise balls.
In a nutshell, you get to enjoy the fun of swimming and relaxation of letting the water take you where it will. At the same time, you’re getting in shape, but it seems more like play than a chore. When you really think about it, getting a pool just makes sense.
Reality Sets in
So, you step outside to survey your back yard with visions of Olympic-size in-ground swimming pools dancing in your head. Then, you come to a harsh realization: you’ve barely got enough room for one of those six-inch deep plastic models from your youth. If you fold up the lawn chairs, you may be able to squeeze in a hot tub and still be able to walk around it. What to do?
The Perfect Solution: a Swim Spa
Swim in place pools have actually been on the market for a number of years, but they’re just now starting to gain steam in the fitness world as well as the realm of hopeful pool owners. Early versions were almost as big as traditional in-ground swimming pools, but just like computers, phones and personal sound systems, they’ve gotten a lot smaller, better and more practical over the years. They now give you a happy compromise without really having to sacrifice anything at all.
What is a Swim in Place Pool?
Today’s exercise swimming pools are available in both in and above-ground models. They’re equipped with current-generating technology in the form of hot tub-like jets or paddlewheels installed at one end of the pool. Many can be adjusted where both direction and current strength are concerned, so users are able to change up their workouts based on their own needs and capabilities.
Swimming against a current happens to burn more calories, build more muscle mass and accelerate your heart rate even more so than dormant water, so your workout efforts are more effective. Turn the propulsion system off, and you’ve got a conventional swimming pool with enough room to sit back and relax and let the little ones further their own love of the water. You get all this in about the same amount of space you’d need for a hot tub.
About How Much does a Swim in Place Pool Cost?
As usual, you’re looking at a pretty wide price range when it comes to exercise pools. Depending on the size you want, just how high-tech you’d like to go and whether you choose the in-ground swimming pool alternative or an above-ground model, you could pay anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to a couple hundred thousand. Consider two popular but distinctly different models currently on the market.
15′ Endless Pools Swim Spa
Manufactured by Endless Pools, this model lands around the middle of the typical pricing scale, but it still comes in at about a tenth of what you could potentially pay for other lap pools with the same features. As the description indicates, it’s 15 feet long, which makes it one of the larger options in its category. This swim spa gives you just over four feet of depth, and its jet propulsion system is powered by a five horsepower electric motor.
You can choose between one or two sculpted spa-style seats for post-workout cool downs or simple relaxation. Strength and speed of the current can be adjusted for beginners all the way up to seasoned professionals. Plenty of add-ons are available, such as an underwater treadmill to push you to new limits of up to four M.P.H. and a current generator upgrade for heightened resistance training.
iPool Deluxe Above Ground Exercise Swimming Pool with Filter / Pump and Heater Upgrade
This exercise swimming pool is a much smaller model, only taking up about 6.5 feet in width and 10 feet in length. The manufacturer notes it’s about the size of a minivan. It’s also a great deal less costly than its Endless Pools competitor. Made of PVC-lined fabric, the iPool is portable and provides its workouts via a harness system. Your own movements generate resistance, and the harness’ position can be adjusted to alter workout intensity.
Your purchase includes a ladder, pool cover and repair kit. A complimentary heater/filter pump upgrade is also offered, so you can enjoy its benefits year round. Current owners are giving this model a 4.5-star rating.
Our Final Word
Each of these models gives you the famous benefits of water-based exercise with added resistance. Endless Pools’ option comes with a bit more technology and versatility. Turn off its jets, and it magically transforms into a traditional pool in smaller form. This lap pool also has more to offer in the way of additional options. Still, you pay for all those features.