In today's housing market, there is an increasing awareness of the value of higher urban density in creating liveable, walkable neighbourhoods. While living in less space per person can bring us closer together as communities, it does limit our options when it comes to the outdoor amenities we can build on our properties. At Albatross Pools, an increasing number of our customers are asking us to design pools for small yards that impose strict limitations on the size and shape of the pools. These constraints give us an opportunity to work with our clients to help them clarify their priorities. What we've found is that there are two very common reasons to build a pool: for exercise and for entertainment. Many families are interested in both, however, one is usually primary and the other secondary. In this post, we'll focus on pools for fitness, and in a later article, we'll talk more about small pools for entertaining and for pure family fun.
A pool really is a fantastic place to exercise. Water exercise offers cardiovascular intensity combined with zero impact. Unlike running, water exercise is almost completely safe for hips and knees. Unlike biking, water exercise does not involve being unprotected in the midst of vehicular traffic. You can swim, water jog or do water aerobics all your life without worrying about wearing down your joints, getting run over by a hummer or otherwise damaging your body.
When it comes to residential pools with limited space, there are three approaches to water exercise: a pool that's designed for lap swimming, a pool for swimming in place and a pool for standing exercise like water jogging or water aerobics. Of course, the same pool can be used for more than one type of activity.
A small lap pool is by nature long and narrow, and it will generally be 1.5 metres to 2.0 metres in depth. Swimming back and fourth is a straightforward way to stay fit, and everyone who swims knows the drill: swim one way, flip against the far wall, swim the other way and repeat. On a small lot, a lap pool might span the length or the width of the back yard or even bisect it diagonally. It has the potential to help shape the geometry of an interesting overall landscape design.
Modified Plunge Pools and Large Spas
A plunge pool is a popular choice for families who have a limited amount of space to work with and who use their pools for entertaining guests. However, plunge pools tend to be small and deep, while water aerobics and water jogging are best done in pools where the water is shallow enough to stand. Swimming does not require deep water, either. That's why many people choose a small pool of a little less than 1.5 metres in depth for exercise. Jogging in place and water aerobics do not require a huge amount of width or length. These activities can be done in any pool with enough room to spread out the arms and move around a little. Swimming in place, whether its facilitated by swim jets or a swimming harness, requires a pool that's at least 4.5 metres in length and at least half that in width.
A swimming harness is an arrangement of resistance bands and pads that will allow you to swim in a stationary position. The Stillswim system is an example of a swimming harness. Swim jets create an artificial current that can be adjusted to match your swimming speed, allowing you to swim in place. Davey Water Products makes swim jets that can be used with pre-engineered pools. Both of these methods can work well for a small pool, however, not everyone finds them comfortable or pleasant. Before installing a pool with the intention of using swim jets or a swimming harness, be sure to try using the method in advance to see if you like it.
In summary, small pools that are going to used primarily for exercise, if water jogging or water aerobics are part of the plan, should have a depth that allows a person to stand upright. If the pool is only going to be used for swimming, then the depth is not as much of an issue.
Of course, our customers usually like to use their pools for cooling off, too, and we can build them on almost any type of base, for example, with a variable depth or steps for sitting. At Albatross, we specialise in pre-engineered pools. Our pools can easily be built at any size, and we can build very affordable, very durable small pools for exercise.
Go check Small Pools for Entertaining