By Dennis Marunde, Owner Arvidson Pools and Spas
Having a swim spa at home is ideal for those whose needs are centered on a healthy lifestyle. It is widely known that swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help improve cardiovascular health, and the ability to perform this exercise in a swim spa, whether gently in place or more rigorously against a swift current, is convenient in many ways.
Swim spas are a small footprint vessel typically made of acrylic and fiberglass or steel walls and a vinyl liner, as well as custom concrete. They are designed around the swim current that is created by powerful jet pumps which produce a flat and uplifting water flow to allow bathers to swim continuously up to 8 mph without turning. The degree of resistance is variable – typically controlled by a simple dial – so swimmers can determine the pace. Swim spas are fun and safe for all ages, shallow enough for most children and non-swimmers, yet deep enough to satisfy the most serious swimmer, jogger, or water aerobics enthusiast.
As mentioned earlier, there are many benefits to exercising in water. Aquatic fitness allows bathers to exercise every muscle and joint in the body at the same time. Further, working out in a swim spa helps to keep the body cool, opposed to land-based exercises, as the water lowers body temperature the entire time the bather is performing their workout.
One of the most important benefits of performing water aerobics in a swim spa is that practically anyone – no matter their age – can partake. This can be attributed to the fact that water makes the body buoyant, and there is less strain and stress on joints and muscles.
In addition to the cardiovascular and respiratory benefits, aquatic fitness also:
- Increases and maintains muscular strength and flexibility
- Improves mobility and range of motion
- Improves coordination, balance, and postural alignment
- Provides the ability to perform a high intensity workout while burning calories
- Creates a massaging effect on muscles
- Provides a versatile outdoor environment to train (in hot and cold weather)
- Supplements a regular training program
- Provides a pleasurable and relaxing aquatic experience
- Provides the ability to easily set and change the pace of the workout, as the body is cooled by water the heart rate is slightly lower. This means aquatic fitness is relatively safe for obese individuals, pregnant women, and those suffering from hypertension and heart disease.
You do not need to know how to swim to take advantage of water aerobic exercises in a swim spa. Bathers can wear one of many devices to enable them to stay afloat with little effort. This in turn, allows the bather to concentrate on his/her routine. The ideal location in which to perform water aerobics is in a pool or swim spa with a thermal cover, which allows the water temperature to be controlled. It is best to have the water temperature between 77 and 95F, which is lower than the body’s temperature (98.6F).
Swim spas are great for people who are looking for something bigger than a hot tub yet more functional year-round without the expense of installing, operating, and maintaining a pool. Further with water volumes of 2,642 gal or less, owners will be happy to know the cost of electricity and water care products are also much lower than a traditional pool.
Whether you are young or old, fit or not so fit, using a swim spa to perform aquatic exercise can help you live a happier lifestyle by managing a healthy weight, toning and maintaining bone density, and relieving physical and mental stress. Owning a swim spa is like having your own aquatic gym that can be used in the privacy of your own backyard.
Dennis Marunde is a third generation business owner who manages Arvidson Pools & Spas, with outdoor living stores in Crystal Lake, Palatine, and St. Charles. He has spent 26 years in the pool and spa industry. The company is a family-owned and operated business with more than 58 years of experience in custom pools and backyard spas.