About the author
Nick Clamp is the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSwimSpa?
Swim spa owners are diving into the multiple health and wellness benefits that can be gained at home from their swim spas.
Serious health conditions are on the rise and the media is constantly highlighting the increasing trends in chronic illness, especially the critical increase of obesity and type two diabetes, which have both hit record levels. These health issues have been exacerbated by the meteoric rise in quick and convenient fast food consumption, much more sedentary lifestyles and lack of aerobic exercise now that our leisure time is mostly being spent catching up with social media news and viewing online content.
Our roads are becoming gridlocked, so having to schedule time to drive to a swimming pool, then have the hassle of using public changing cubicles, before and after a dip, plus the inconvenience of communal showers, can often diminish the desire to gain a host of health benefits from swimming regularly.
Not only is there the hectic commute in busy suburban traffic; there is often the problem of limited free space in the swimming pool car park. So, even before making your restrictive allocated swimming time slot; you are faced with untold stress.
This is one of the key reasons why swim spas are becoming such an extremely popular addition to our homes; and a current key investment for all age groups alike to gain the best stroke advantages to improved wellness and physical fitness.
Once your dream swim spa is installed it will eliminate the issue of inconvenient trips for communal swimming with complete strangers. Those wanting to increase their current levels of swim training, but have busy work schedules or lifestyle commitments that are not conducive to the opening hours of swimming pools, the current crop of advanced swim spas provides the complete hassle-free convenience of being able to have full control of when you swim and how often.
Owners are now discovering the fact that swim spas, or exercise pools as they are often termed, can help to ease joint and back pain and unlock a totally new healthy lifestyle right on their very own doorsteps. They are also easy to install, compared to traditional swimming pools, and have the additional benefit of being heated for wellness use all-year-round.
A significant advantage of owning your own swim spa is the fact that you immediately have total control of when and how often you use it. Morning, noon or night, you can have the convenient capability of jumping in your swim spa whenever your time schedule suits you best, and the welcoming warm water will be waiting for you to take a relaxing and stress-busting swim or a more vigorous and energetic workout if you are so inclined.
This flexibility will encourage many more regular opportunities for swimming and thus enable you to gain greater results with sustained exercise rather than the limited impact of ‘fair weather’ and sporadic trips to leisure pools.
Advanced swim spa designs ensure you can gain the swimming equivalent of a running machine in your back garden, where you can swim continuously against the smooth or vigorous current for ‘miles’ and clock up as many equivalent pool lengths as you wish; without ever leaving the comfort of your home surroundings. What has become the case for many owners is that they also have a hot tub installed for additional post or pre-swim therapy, which then provides the best of both worlds of wellness.
For a fraction of the cost of a conventional domestic swimming pool, the swim spa and hot tub investment makes sound financial sense; especially when you take into consideration the amount of regular warm water use they both can provide throughout the year without the hassle or worries of pool installation, regular cleaning and refurbishment work. Their diminutive cost of these two ‘hot packages’ is also mirrored in their space-saving size as they can be as small as 12 feet-long; so are not likely to have a negative impact on your BBQ space and alfresco dining areas!
Taking the plunge to purchase your own swim spa is a decision that appeals to both head and heart, without having a major impact on your finances that a swimming pool would impose on your bank balance. With the dual benefit of enhancing your outdoor lifestyle and keeping fit, the installation of a swim spa is unrivalled. And when you consider the amount of money lavished on health clubs and gyms, a swim spa really does make sound financial sense. The icing on the cake is that a swim spa can generate an enormous amount of positive health effects and improved wellness besides being great fun for all the family.
Some swim spas are designed with a dedicated section that is specific for swimming routines, as well as a section that is similar to a conventional hot tub.
Adding a swim spa to your home also makes great financial sense. Along with the possibility of cutting up your gym and leisure centre membership cards and saving literally hundreds, or potentially thousands, of pounds in subscriptions and radically reducing the impact on your car fuel consumption and travelling time every year, as well as increasing the value of your home.
For most people, buying a house is the largest outlay they will ever make – but we often don’t protect and develop this investment to the maximum potential. Many homeowners naturally place great renovating bathrooms, or installing double glazing to ensure a home is more saleable, but hot tubs and swim spas are growing in stature as providing ‘must have’ considerable value to homes; while creating the extra ‘wow factor’.
Installing a well-landscaped swim spa is seen in the same light as adding an in-ground pool by prospective buyers and estate agents who realise properties with this investment are highly sought after. As such they can add more than double their initial price to a property’s value, which makes for a great investment decision.
Because swim spas are designed and manufactured to be self-contained, and therefore portable, even if you do decide to relocate you also have the choice and flexibility to transfer your swim spa to another property. Unlike a domestic swimming pool that would have to be left behind and negotiated in the price; your beloved swim spa can subsequently be lifted out and transported to your new
According to regular reports in the media, our modern hectic lifestyles can have a major impact on our health, especially if we are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out by heavy workloads, domestic duties and the impact of our 24/7 ‘switched on’ culture. The leisure time we have left during the day or at weekends has become ever more precious and requires a strong commitment to prevent it being eroded as we try to juggle work and home life with other demands.
Often, we are so exhausted that we are simply slumped in front of the TV, following another busy day. As a result, it is all too easy to become physically, mentally and emotionally rundown. In turn this can have a serious impact on your general health, which if not redressed quickly can lead to the vicious cycle of long-term illnesses and regular trips to the doctor’s surgery that prevent the wellness benefits of regular physical activity.
Those visits to the local health club or pool still involve time and forward planning, which often must be accommodated into our daily schedules. The problem is that we still must work around the opening hours of these leisure and health establishments – so it certainly rules out a midnight swim!
That is why swim spas are booming in popularity. Having one installed in your home provides a dedicated zone where you can achieve a healthy pick-me-up and/or an invigorating workout whenever you desire. This could be before your children wake up or you head off to work; following completion of your domestic chores in the evening, or simply as a relaxing prelude to ensuring a restful sleep throughout the night.
Some swim spas are designed with a dedicated section that is specific for swimming routines, as well as a section that is similar to a conventional hot tub. These generally have cutting-edge ergonomic jetted seating for advanced hydrotherapy, which provides you with the best of both worlds. Soothing massaging action of the jets and warmth of the hot tub water, which is usually hotter than the swimming area, not only feel fantastic, they also provide your body with a physical and mental boost to ensure increased health and fitness.
So, just picture the thought of coming home after a hard day at the office and then swimming off the stresses of the rat-race, or relaxing with family, friends or simply taking advantage of your solitary enjoyment of your fitness oasis that has the dual benefit of also providing some ‘tub time’ to reconnect with loved ones without the energy-sapping intrusions that we have to cope with on a daily basis.
Swimming regularly, and the many health benefits this provides to our bodies, is one of the commonly documented major health and exercise suggestions from medical and fitness experts. From a young age we are imparted with the knowledge that swimming is an essential life lesson that can then be transformed into a healthy and relaxing activity to improve physical and mental fitness in later years. The American ‘Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’ governmental body note a 2008 study, which highlighted that swimmers have about half the risk of early death compared to those with lifestyles that are predominantly sedentary or inactive.
As well as toning the body, swimming provides a supported cardiovascular workout that not only strengthens the heart muscles but also increases the delivery of oxygen to the various body parts. What sets swimming apart from other forms of cardiovascular exercise, though, is the fact that it works on more of the body’s muscles at the same time during the activity; and due to the buoyancy effect of the water, in which the body weighs 90 per cent less than it does on dry land, there is not the impact on joints that walking or jogging would create.
Also, a link between swimming and significantly slowing the ageing process has been proclaimed by Dr Joel M. Stager, a researcher at the University of Indiana.
“When you look at all the standard physiological markers associated with the ageing process, we see that every one of them is slowed dramatically in people who swim regularly,” revealed Dr Stager.
Our very own Dr Hilary Jones, who found fame on our TV screens while providing breakfast time health advice, is also a keen swimming advocate. He has participated in the Great North Swim and has extolled the benefits of swimming to his patients.
“Swimming is an excellent form of exercise and all-round therapy for body and soul,” enthuses Dr Hilary; “It exercises all the major muscle groups, including the shoulders, neck, back, arms, legs and abdomen.
“Just look at the physiques of our Olympic swimmers – you know it has to be good for you! More importantly, the heart and lungs get a workout too – and it is a great way to burn calories.
Dr Hilary also highlighted that swimming can provide the extra benefits of providing life-saving capabilities as well as additional socialising benefits.
“Swimming is a wonderful social activity,” he declared; “Great for all ages, anyone able-bodied or otherwise can enjoy it and just learning to swim could one day even save your life.”
Even a gentle swim can burn-up over 200 Kcal in 30 minutes, and a vigorous front crawl can burn as many calories as an 8mph run. If you’re looking to lose weight, swimming provides an excellent aid to a sensible and controlled diet in burning fat.
Studies have shown that besides improving physical health, swimming improves psychological wellbeing, reduces stress and improves your sleep quality. Female swimmers in particular have been shown to experience significantly less tension, depression and anger after exercising in the pool. It can save your life!
Over 400 people drown in open water in the UK every year and it is the third most common cause of accidental death in children. So regular swimming in a safe and controlled environment will make your children in particular more competent swimmers with better stamina – which could be vital if they should ever find themselves in difficulty in water.
No matter what your age, weight and physical ability, swimming and water-based activities can provide you with a really beneficial low impact workout.
Swimming is particularly good for pregnant women or those with disabilities, injuries or illnesses like arthritis because swimming supports up to 90 per cent of the body’s weight in the water. Research indicates that pregnant women benefit the most from swimming as it strengthens abdominal and back muscles – essential when carrying a baby. According to experts, exercising in water can considerably reduce the joint stiff ness, high blood pressure, and discomfort, which is often associated with pregnancy.
Exercising in water can help people with some chronic diseases. In arthritis sufferers, it improves use of affected joints without worsening symptoms. Those with rheumatoid arthritis have more health improvements after participating in hydrotherapy than with other activities, and water-based exercise also improves the use of affected joints and decreases pain from osteoarthritis. It’s great fun!
Especially when done with family or close friends. With fuel prices at record highs, throw the car keys in the drawer, bring the fun home and get splashing around in your new swim spa with your loved ones. You won’t regret it!
To find the latest advice and information on selecting your swim spa retailer, request your FREE copy of the latest edition of WhatSwimSpa? As well as the latest advice, you can also view the best swim spas across every price range with the WhatSwimSpa? Best Buy Awards.
Don’t buy a swim spa without it!