- Exercise & Fitness
What is a Swim Spa? Benefits, Pricing, and Top Manufacturers
Treadmills for Swimmers
As an effective, low-impact exercise, swimming is good for just about everyone - from the very young to the elderly. It's a shame more people don't swim, but not everyone has easy access to a pool or can afford to build one for their home. Fortunately, swim spas are helping to make swimming more accessible to all.
What are swim spas? Essentially, they're swimming treadmills. They're hot tubs minus the "hot" part and plus water jets that create a strong current that allows you to swim in place. Like treadmills, they allow you to get great aerobic exercise in a relatively small space.
They're not all business, though. Swim spas are also enjoyable places to relax after a long day. Many of them can be heated to hot tub temperature, and some even come with a separate attached hot tub.
Advantages of a Swim Spa
As mentioned, one major advantage of swim spas is their compact size. You can fit them indoors for year-round swimming or tuck them away in a corner of your backyard. This sort of flexibility makes them an option for many people who simply don't have the space for a standard swimming pool.
Of course, having room for a swimming pool doesn't necessarily mean you have room for a swimming pool. Smaller inground and above ground pools are difficult to exercise in because the laps are so short. There's always the option to install swim jets in a standard pool, but if your sole or primary reason for getting a pool is fitness, a swim spa might be a better choice.
There's one other huge advantage swim spas have over traditional pools: cost. In general, buying a swim spa will save you thousands over a typical inground swimming pool.
Swim Spa Prices
Swim spas vary a lot in price, and can cost anywhere from a few thousand to $20,000 and up. The wide range is due to the different brands, materials, and perhaps most important of all, the exact features included. Some options that can impact the final cost include:
- Size (longer and/or deeper is more expensive)
- Water jet power
- Hot tub combo
In addition, many swim spas require onsite installation. If you have to call in a professional contractor to do the work for you, that's obviously another big expense.
Swim Spa Manufacturers
If you've never looked into getting a swim spa before, most of the brand names will probably be unfamiliar to you. However, there's one big name just about everyone recognizes: Michael Phelps. The famous Olympian with freakish swimming skills has lent his name to a line of swim spas by Master Spas.
Endless Pools is another popular brand and has television commercials running in many areas. They offer spas in a lot of different styles, using a variety of materials.
Other brands you might come across include H2X, Thermospa, Catalina, and Rio. They all come with different advantages, disadvantages, and prices. As always be sure to do your research before making a big investment in one of these systems.
The decision of whether to get a swim spa is by no means a minor one. You're still talking about a costly piece of equipment that takes up a lot of room in your home. If you've ever shelled out for an expensive treadmill or other exercise device only to have it sit, unused in a corner, you certainly realize that you should think twice (or three times) before paying for a swim spa.
However, if your alternative is a truly expensive inground pool, then a spa looks like the sensible alternative. In any case, they do offer you a lot for you money - namely, the ability to swim in your own home, whenever you want. There aren't too many things you can do that are better for your health.