If you’re an avid swimmer you’ve probably often dreamed of owning your own swimming pool. But maybe you don’t have enough space, or possibly the cost is just a little overwhelming. You may have also been tempted by a hot tub, but don’t like the fact that they can be so tiny and don’t give you any option for swimming. If this is the case, you might want to look into exercise pools. They’re perfect for those who love both swimming pools and hot tubs but may not have the space or the budget to fit one into their lives. But what exactly are these hybrids? If you’re wondering how exercise pools work, read on to find out more.
What Is an Exercise Pool?
Exercise pools also go by the name of swim spas. An exercise pool conserves on space by being smaller than a full-sized pool or a lap pool, but larger than a hot tub. The exercise pool generates an adjustable current that allows the swimmer to swim in place. This allows for continuous swimming at a constant speed without ever reaching the end of the pool or having to turn around. Exercise pools can also be used for soaking and relaxation. Given enough time, on most models it’s possible to raise the temperature to allow it to function as a hot tub as well. Other models have a separate but attached tank that allows for soaking at the same time as someone else is swimming.
How Do Exercise Pools Work?
When it comes to swimming in an exercise pool there needs to be a current created which is strong enough to keep a swimmer in place while they perform their stroke. How this current is generated and how adjustable it is depending on the model of the pool. There are three main types of current generators that are readily available these days. The first type uses a large paddle wheel, similar to those found on the back of old-time paddle boats, which rotates at speeds high enough to create a strong current. A similar type of current generator uses large propellers instead, similar to those found on the back of modern motorboats. The third type uses pumps to force the water through jets to create the current.
What Should You Look for When Evaluating Exercise Pools?
To create as natural a swimming experience as possible there a handful of things you should make note of when you’re checking out various exercise pools.
It almost goes without saying that you’ll want to make sure your exercise pool creates a current strong enough to swim against. If you’re an accomplished or competitive swimmer this will be even more important than if you’re buying something for the kids to learn with.
You’ll also want to make sure the current is smooth. Too much turbulence in an exercise pool can make for a poor swimming experience.
The current should also be easily adjustable. This is especially important if there’s a wide range of swimming experience among the users. You’ll want to be able to create a current that’s slow enough for a beginning swimmer, but you’ll also want to be able to turn it up to challenge the Olympic hopefuls as well.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure the swim lane is large enough. If the current isn’t wide or deep enough you may find parts of your body outside the current which can affect the natural feeling of the swimming experience.
How Do You Know What’s Right for You?
Besides doing research through the internet or through other literature, you should really get out there and experience a potential buy in person. Most retailers will gladly offer you a test drive of their exercise pools. This will allow you to ensure that the size, power and control of the exercise pool is one that will keep you happy for years to come.
To learn more about exercise pools, download a free buyer’s guide below today, or visit us at our London pool store.