Swimming and aquacise are increasingly popular forms of fitness, and for good reason. With buoyancy counteracting the effects of gravity, water-based exercise is less impactful while offering all the cardiovascular intensity of a traditional workout. To enjoy these benefits at home you’ll need a suitable patch of water, and one option comes in the form of a lap pool. But how big should your lap pool be?
The ideal lap pool is one that allows for a decent amount of strokes before you’re forced to turn around. The longer the lap pool the fewer tumble turns you’ll need to do and the more enjoyable the swim will be. A good lap pool will therefore be at least 10m long, and ideally closer to 15m.
There is another swimming pool option, however. It measures just 3.7m-6.1m long, but you’ll never reach the end of it. An Endless Pools swim spa generates its own current for you to swim against, which can be adjusted to your preferred speed. These machines demand less space, less money, and offer a far superior swim.
Let’s take a closer look at lap pools: what they are, how they work, their ideal size, and how they compare to other aquacise options.
What is a lap pool?
A lap pool is a long, narrow pool, usually measuring 10-15m long, 2-3m wide and about 1.2m deep, designed exclusively for fitness, rather than for relaxation or socialising. Lap pools can be installed at the back, the side, or even within the home; the position is usually driven by wherever the necessary space can be found.
Because lap pools are such large and costly installations, they are seen as a sign of opulence, and are often installed as much for their form as for their function. Their size means that they can be labour-intensive to clean and maintain, although most lap pool owners have the means to outsource these tasks.
If reasons of space, cost or upkeep are preventing you from investing in a lap pool, an Endless Pools swim spa offers a compact, cost-effective and low maintenance alternative, all while providing an enhanced swimming experience!
What is the best length home lap pool?
The best length lap pool for your home is the longest lap pool you can fit and afford. The reality is that the experience of swimming in a lap pool is lowered whenever you reach each end, as turning around disrupts the rhythm of your stroke. It’s why Olympic swimming pools are 50m long: it allows athletes to showcase their swimming talents with fewer disruptions.
Unfortunately not many of us have a 50m long space to spare in our backyards, which is why most lap pools are 10-15m in length – a distance that lets you get a good amount of strokes in before you hit the end.
Fortunately there is another way: the hydraulic propulsion system found in an Endless Pools swim spa generates a consistent, low turbulence current that grants you a unique swim-in-place experience. Despite measuring just a few metres long, these machines are tumble turn-free zones. Close your eyes and you’ll feel like you’re enjoying an open water swim!
Why choose a swim spa over a lap pool?
In recent years the lap pool has found itself in competition with a new type of machine: the swim spa. But why are more and more Kiwis moving away from lap pools, and into swim spas?
- Space: The longer the lap pool the better, but most properties aren’t blessed with that much spare space. Endless Pools swim spas, meanwhile, offer a swim-in-place experience that essentially makes the machine infinitely long, when in reality it measures just a handful of metres.
- Cost: Big, bespoke and difficult to install, lap pools tend to be far more expensive than compact, portable and self-contained swim spas.
- Capability: Lap pools are for swimming laps. Endless Pools swim spas, meanwhile, are your personal trainer, masseuse team and party host rolled into one!
- Work: Lap pools are far more complex and time-consuming to install and maintain versus an Endless Pools swim spa, which can be put in place, filled and powered, and features a wealth of automated water care technology.
Lap pool vs swim spa
There’s no doubt that a lap pool can make for a luxurious addition to your home. But could an Endless Pools swim spa be a better choice? To find out, let’s take a look at a few of the major differences.
An in-ground lap pool is a gorgeous feature that can add a serious level of opulence to your property. An Endless Pool swim spa offers a different aesthetic, but one that is no less stunning or luxurious. These above-ground, self-contained units feature a modern, minimalist and customisable design.
In terms of the room you need, there’s no competition between lap pools and swim spas. Where a lap pool will generally demand 20-45m² of space, an Endless Pools swim spa needs just 8-14m² – small enough to fit on a deck or even a balcony – while offering a swimming experience that is every bit as endless as the name suggests.
Speaking of the swimming experience, the presence of the propulsion system makes a swim spa a more functional choice than a lap pool. What’s more, Endless Pools machines come with heated water and hydromassage seating (making them great for relaxing and socialising), and can offer any number of features like underwater lighting, water features, entertainment systems, aquabikes and treadmills.
Engineering reports, foundation stabilisation, council consents, excavation, large water care and heating systems, landscaping, pool fencing; everything considered, lap pool installation can prove a costly and time-consuming affair. But many of these costs simply don’t apply to portable, self-contained swim spas, which can be put in place, filled, powered and enjoyed.
The larger the pool, the more cleaning and upkeep it will need. Lap pools can prove to be laborious additions to your home, requiring regular work and water checks. In contrast, Endless Pools swim spas are designed to reduce the work of ownership while maximising the play, so the maintenance demands of these compact machines are quite low:
- Water care: From 5 minutes per week to 5 minutes per month.
- Filter care: 15 minutes up to 4 times monthly.
- Draining and refilling: Ranging from fortnightly to yearly (if water is properly cared for.)