difference between a swimming pool and a swim spa

18 October, 2019

Do you want to know what's the difference between a swimming pool and a swim spa? Thanks to tremendous technological advances, today you no longer have to choose between the bubbling massage of a hot tub and the toning aquatic workout of a pool. Called swim spas, these combination swim-in place pools/healing hot spas offer the best of both worlds right in your backyard.

Swim spas have a number of key advantages that are making them the fastest growing category in the pool and spa business today

1. Swim spas, while larger than normal spas, are much smaller than pools. As backyards increasingly grow smaller, swimspas (which typically range from 3m to 6m in length, 2.3m wide and 1.3m deep) have become the perfect solution

2. Investing in a swim spa is generally less expensive than purchasing a pool. A portable swim spa will cost from $16k for a very basic plunge model to $40k+ for a fully equipped dualzone, with the only extras being a reinforced concrete slab/base, safety barrier in some areas, electrical connection and water. Depending on the manufacturer, pool size, equipment, your site conditions and the customisation you choose, a typical swimming pool can cost between $40k and $100k+. Installation can also get quite pricy with hidden extras and additional landscaping.

3. Swim spas are easier to maintain and heat than pools because of their smaller size/body of water

4. A swim spa is a self-contained unit, so can be moved if you decide to relocate to another home

Meeting a Challenge

Athletes and people whose careers depend on the peak performance and appearance of their bodies, have turned to swimspas to provide the workouts and therapy essential to staying competitive.

Water workouts are ideal because the water provides more resistance than air, effectively making the movement more challenging to each muscle. Exercising in water, rather than on land, helps prevent overheating and induces a reduced heart rate response (lower pulse) but provides the same cardiovascular benefits. According to one study, exercising the upper and lower body in a pool for one hour expends 400-500 calories (equivalent to running or walking at 6 mins per km).

Although clearly well suited to professional athletes the unique properties of water provide an environment for people of all abilities. Buoyancy creates a reduced impact exercise alternative that is easy on the joints. In fact, those suffering with arthritis may find the warmth and buoyancy of a swim spa to be a safe setting for relieving arthritis pain and stiffness. Hydrotherapy exercise is a gentle way to exercise aching joints and muscles.

Besides being a perfect setting for water aerobics, water yoga, swimming laps or water jumping jacks, the swimspa can also provide the therapeutic atmosphere of a spa. Just relaxing in heated water (generally 30-39degress) being massaged by jet motion has been reported to help with a variety of ailments from insomnia to stress to arthritis. Warm water therapy is restorative to the body and promotes better mental and physical health.

The Right Placement

Most swim spa manufacturers offer products that can be aesthetically incorporated into the landscape of your backyard, just like a pool. Please consult your local spa specialist about council requirements in your area.

Adjustment & Accessories

If you plan to focus your water workout on jogging in place, stretching exercises and moderate lap swimming, you may not need a full force current on your swim spa. Accessory products are available for swimming resistance.

If you would like to swim laps against the current, make sure to inquire about the source of the current. In swim spas, either 2 or 4 jets power the current and the strength of these can differ hugely depending on how many pumps supply the power to these swim jets. A swim jet powered fully by it’s own dedicated pump will obviously provide you with much more water pressure and control over the strength of the swim jet stream, whereas a pump shared across all 4 swim jets will definitely not supply the same powerful water pressure through each jet. I encourage you to ‘test drive / wet test’ various swim spas to see which works best for you and your family. Consider how much you can adjust the current to fit your desired workout and how effectively you stay in place while swimming laps. Like the ocean, a swim spa current can send you in a different direction than you intend. Every person has one weak side so, to balance out your physique, make sure you stay centred while swimming, which will help strengthen your less powerful side.

Aesthetic Appeal

As technology has advanced and customers have become more discriminating, swimspas have become more and more customised and aesthetically pleasing. Customers can choose from a variety of different colours for their spa and numerous cabinet options to decide what would best their décor or environment.

Since music and exercise go hand in hand, a stereo system is another way to personalise your swimspa. Sapphire Spas offer a state-of-the-art stereo system with transducer speakers on our shells, which helps set the mood in your swim spa or gives you the little extra oomph when exercising.

Be sure to review your options for heating and cooling your spa water on any particular model. The efficiency of your spa heating and cooling far out ways the cost of running a pool 52 weeks of the year.

Look through our large range of swim spas to choose the right shape, size and seating preference you will be ready to go with the flow and into the current trend : enjoying the best of both worlds that a swim spa offers!