The small size, convenience and flexibility of swim spas make them a favourite for many Australians, particularly as they are ideally suited to warmer weather and our famous love of outdoor activities. However, while handy, efficient and helpful in promoting fitness, swim spas are limited in what they can provide. There are alternatives on the market that offer significantly more advantages. In this article, we examine the pros and cons of a swimming spa and also give you an idea of other options so you have a well-rounded concept at what is available.
The pros of owning a swimming spa
A swimming spa is a compromise between a swimming pool and a spa. It provides enough space for the user to swim against the current provided by the spa jets. While small, it offers enough space to practise swimming strokes and can be an effective form of hydrotherapy.
Any form of swimming is good for the health. You exercise almost all your muscles and the benefits for cardiovascular health and developing lung capacity are well known. Swimming is an excellent and enjoyable way of keeping fit and maintaining control of your weight as well as staying cool during the heat of summer. While any form of the exercise is beneficial, whether a serious athlete or just a fan of the water, the more effort expended, the better for your fitness.
The swim spas will assist by creating a current in the pool with the spa jets, thereby making the swimming more strenuous and making your muscles work more. This extra effort, if maintained for a reasonable time, is beneficial for your health and physical development.
Swim spas also create a relaxing environment in the pool, reducing the stress and anxiety that you may have accumulated in your work during the day. The effect of the spa jets help to calm the mind and body, adding to the experience of better overall mental wellbeing.
As a form of hydrotherapy, swimming spas also help those with injuries to recover. This form of treatment can help in reducing pain levels for people with, for example, joint or muscle pain. As well as making you feel looser and more relaxed, the combination of the spa jets and the movement helps to increase circulation, supporting overall wellness.
The cons of owning a swimming spa
While there are many benefits of owning a swim spa, there are drawbacks. The chief disadvantage is the lack of space when compared to a regular swimming pool. The seating area around the swim spa takes up a lot of the space of the pool. This is because swim spas are designed primarily to be used for the hydrotherapy benefits, not active swimming.
This means, the area for swimming is limited and therefore would be unsuitable for serious swimmers looking to improve their fitness and speed. While the spa jets provide some resistance in the water, competitive swimmers must compete in natural currents. This added resistance from the jet spas would result in slower lap times.
There is also the possibility of young children getting in trouble if they are not confident swimmers. The stronger currents produced by the spa jets will create greater turbulence in the water, making the water dangerous for young ones unless they have the ability to handle the extra challenge to their swim strokes. The same will apply to pets who may fall in and panic when they experience the current. It is therefore recommended that extra care be taken to ensure young children and pets don’t use the swimming spa, except under close supervision.
Checking the alternatives to swim spas
1. Pool and spa combinations
There is an alternative, which means you don’t have to choose between the traditional swim spa or a larger pool without the hydrotherapy appeal; a combination of both a swimming pool and spa. This is becoming a popular choice for Australians, with many backyards across the country now boasting the pool and spa combo. This is an excellent alternative that consists of a regular swimming pool with the spa included in the design.
The combo pool and spa offers the best in both worlds. A natural current and space for the serious swimmer to practise laps, while the attached spa is great for relaxation, repairing sore limbs, rejuvenation or just winding down after a swim in the pool. The swimming pool without the dangerous current experienced in the swimming spa also provides the ideal environment in which young children can safely learn to swim.
The combination pool and spa therefore offers the user an excellent alternative to the swimming spa and is ideal for people of all ages who want to enjoy the water either for exercise or fun.
2. Above ground fibreglass pools
One of the advantages of swim spas is their almost instant installation. Also, you can both swim and relax in a swim spa and thus, they combine the best of both worlds. However, there is a new alternative to swim spas which was introduced to the Australian market in 2019. Manufactured by Compass Pools Australia, Little Pools are small above ground pool that can be delivered to your backyard, ready to swim in. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Made out of high-quality fibreglass, their premium finish, long life and beautiful colours are their main advantages. Positioned similar to swim spas, with many advantages over them, Little Pools are becoming extremely popular for pool owners around Sydney and whole Australia.
Swim spa cost compared
The relatively cheap price of a swimming spa compared to regular swimming pools is one of the attractive points for many buyers. Indeed, a good quality swim spa can be bought for as little as $15,000 to $30,000, with many cheaper yet robust options available on the market.
However, while a pool and swim spa combination will cost around double that of a standard swim spa and more, the extra outlay does reflect the added benefits that a combination of the two offers. Not only does the combo feature extra functionality, it also adds an aesthetic appeal to the property, blending into the rest of your landscaping with the added bonus of a significant increase in value for your house and land. Over time, the addition of a pool and swimming spa can prove to be the smart choice, whether you decide to sell or continue to live in your home.
If you are budget conscious and prefer a standalone, ready to go above ground fibreglass pool, Little Pools’ models start at $16,250 (naked). You can add spa jets and other features into it, making it an ideal choice for both swimming and relax.
Interested in hearing more about pool and spa combinations? Contact us to find out the choice you have with a variety of pool and swim spa combinations. Our team will show you the different designs and styles that are available, and can offer advice on the right one to suit your backyard landscaping.