While we like to use this space to tell people about spa and pool products and how to incorporate them into their lives, we also realize there’s a breed of people who enjoy reading about the inner workings of products so that they learn something new. In order to ensure that as many readers as possible feel fulfilled when spending time with our blog, we try to mix things up every once in a while. In the spirit of popular TV shows which explain how things are made or how they work we’ve endeavoured to create an article describing how exercise pools, also called swim spas work. If you were ever curious about the attraction to these pint-sized swimming pools, this article is for you.
What Are Exercise Pools?
Exercise pools are quite commonly known as swim spas. Although the word “spa” may appear more elegant than “pool” it does tend to conjure up visions of Swedish massages, pedicures and facial treatments. However, because a spa often refers to a hot tub as well, we’ll just have to deal with this ambiguity.
Defining an exercise pool requires comparing them to other pools: a lap pool and a hot tub. An exercise pool occupies the middle ground between these two differently sized water tanks. This makes them ideal for those who are looking to practice their swimming strokes in an area that wouldn’t have enough space to install a lap pool, nevermind a full-sized swimming pool. Exercise pools also allow the option for relaxation and lounging. By turning up the temperature of the water it can virtually mimic the usefulness of a hot tub.
The major difference between exercise pools, lap pools and hot tubs is the creation and use of an extremely strong water current. The current generated is strong enough to keep a swimmer in place while performing their favourite stroke. This prevents the swimmer from ever reaching the end of the pool and eliminates the need to turn around and swim back to the other end. Because of this unique feature, an exercise pool (or swim spa) can be much smaller than a lap pool and not much bigger than a hot tub. Exercise pools are perfect for those who want the convenience of being able to swim on their own property even if they don’t have enough space to install a lap pool or full-sized swimming pool.
What Creates the Water Current?
There are various different types of exercise pools that feature unique ways to generate the current that keeps the swimmer in place while swimming. One of these resembles the paddle wheel found on the back of old-time steam ships. Other models incorporate the use of powerful propellers similar to those found on the back of motorboats. And a third type uses powerful pumps which force water through small jets to generate the current.
What Makes A Good Exercise Pool?
If you’re actually planning to buy an exercise pool, there are a few things that you should be looking out for. When it comes to current generation, you’ll want to make sure it’s strong enough to keep you in place while you’re swimming. If you’re an exceptionally strong swimmer you don’t want to be forced to swim at a fraction of your abilities. At the same time, the current should be easily adjustable which will allow for different types of swimming strokes and varying levels of swimming expertise without too many complications.
You’ll also want to make sure that the current generated is smooth enough to allow for proper swimming. Some types of current generation systems create more turbulence than others. The more turbulent the current is the harder it will be to maintain a normal swimming stroke. Another thing to take note of when examining the current creation is how large the swimming lane is. If it’s too narrow or not deep enough you may find yourself outside of the current and struggling to get back in.
If you’d like to find out more information about exercise pools or swim spas, download a free buyer’s guide today.