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Compact pool? Swim Spa

What is Your Fitness Forte? Some people find it easy to set the alarm clock for 4:30 a.m. and jump out of bed for a five-mile run, while others hit the snooze button so many times that the chance of a morning workout becomes obsolete. There are specific aspects of your personality that determine what kind of exerciser you are, so if you have found yourself in a fitness rut it is time to put your unique interests back into the equation. Most of all, ENJOY your workout!
A swim spa from the Above Ground Pool & Spa Company makes it convient for you to do your water aerobics on your own schedule. If you are limited in space we have the perfect swim machine for you. These constant current swim spas can be inexpensively heated for year round use.

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Hurricane prep for South Texas above ground pools

skimmer lid

Before Storm:
Remove outdoor furniture from the pool deck.
Turn off power to pool pump.
Secure your skimmer lid snug. The small hole in the top of the skimmer lid will allow for a controlled drainage of your above ground pool. (pictured)
After storm:
Once you’ve taken care of other more critical assessments of damage, you can address the pool or spa. You’ll want to:
Check the Electrical System
Inspect your pool pump and motor for any damage. Let the motor dry for at least 24 hours. If you couldn’t remove your equipment before the storm and it was underwater, get it checked out.
Clean out debris from swimming pool to keep it from staining permanently.
Balance water pH, superchlorinate or shock your pool, and run the filter until the water becomes clear.

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Nutgrass!! Weeds in pool!

Nutgrass Will Not Destroy Your Above Ground Pool Liner
Nutsedge or nutgrass is a persistent weed. When in its growth stage, it grows upward forming a needle-like point that is strong enough to grow through asphalt. A pool liner is no match for the nutgrass as it pushes toward the sun with its super strong point. There is no pool liner made that can stop nutgrass. So the result is it grows straight through the liner of your pool. There can be anywhere from just one or two blades all the way up to a 20 or 30 blades. This depends on how much nutgrass is in the soil. This generally happens after we have had substantial rain. The bottom of your pool was treated with a nutgrass poison during the installation process, but nutgrass will “network” inside the pool from the outside (pictured)if the perimeter is not poisoned on a quarterly basis. The one foot perimeter around the pool should be kept clear of vegetation by applying a product like ORTHO TRIOX.(Also sold as Ground Clear)
Usually only a few blades grow through the liner, but there can be more. Over the years I’ve seen extreme cases of nutgrass intrusion that amounted to twenty or more blades growing everywhere on the bottom of a single pool. It’s a very odd sight when you look into a pool and it has perfectly healthy, green grass growing in the water. I said earlier that nutgrass won’t ruin a liner. Nutgrass almost always starts near the inside wall of the pool and can slowly work its way out to the middle of the pool. Black plastic or weed cloth does not even slow it down. (pictured)

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Replacing the grids in your family pool

Replacing the grids in your diatomacious earth filter can be a difficult task. The 8 grids ( 7 large and 1 small)  are difficult to arrange under the manifold. The average life of a d.e. grid is approx. 6 years. If you are only replacing one damaged grid, stop reading. If you are replacing the entire set you may want to consider buying the entire insert. It will include the grid locator, air relief, manifold, and all new grids. You will simply lift out old internals and set in new internal. The Above Ground Pool & Spa Company stocks the complete internal and also each separate part. Parts are also available at

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AGP Company swim spas

For centuries the power of water has shaped the world we live in. From oceans to streams, the forces of moving water have changed our landscapes and our lives. That same power is now available for your home in the new AGP Company swim spa from the outdoor adventure experts, The new swim spa uses flowing streams of water to create a home environment ideal for fitness, relaxation and healing.

The AGP Company swim spa combines the best aspects of swimming pools, hot tubs and home gyms. Whether it’s to shape our body, soothe your soul or transform your backyard into an oasis of tranquility,the Above Ground Pool Company helps you harness the power of moving water to enhance your life

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Research Shows Stroke Patients Can Benefit From Water Exercise

A roundup of several recent studies, courtesy of the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF), found that water exercise may offer unique benefits for stroke rehabilitation. These include improved balance, gains in muscular strength, and cardiovascular benefits.
While researchers have known water exercise produces positive benefits, specific measurements for targeted populations were hard to gather in the past. However, newer technology is allowing for more detailed study and assessment of the effects on the cardiovascular system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year, which costs the country an estimated $34 billion per year in medical expenses and missed work days. Finding additional methods to aid stroke rehabilitation stands to help a large population.
A clinical trial published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine examined two groups of stroke patients receiving therapy. One group performed conventional land-based exercise therapy, while the other also participated in water exercise. Researchers concluded that the water exercise group experienced additional improvements in both lower extremity function and quality of life.
“People [who have had a] stroke have a hard time with mobility in one side of the body,” says Jackie Nagle Zera, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sports Studies at John Carroll University, in University Heights, Ohio. “The buoyancy factor of water allows them a more comfortable place to start — it reduces the risk of falling.”
A case report presented to Florida Gulf Coast University looked at spinal cord injury patients and stroke survivors whose walking had been affected by some level of paralysis. Patients participated in underwater treadmill exercise to help restore their gait. Researchers found stroke patients experienced an increase in leg strength and balance as well as improvements in gait and overall quality of life.
Another positive benefit to cardio patients participating in water exercise, according to Dr. Zera, is the increase in hydrostatic pressure when the body is in water, which helps blood flow back up to the heart more easily. This, in turn, reduces the amount of stress and strain put on the heart, allowing patients to make physical gains without risking cardiovascular complications.
Additionally, a very recent study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation examined how stroke patients’ cardiorespiratory systems responded to exercise stress tests, both on land and water treadmills. Researchers found the aquatic treadmill exercise yielded better results, showing its potential for effective aerobic training in this population.
Improved technology and more funding for aquatic exercise research mean a higher likelihood that water immersion and exercise will be more heavily utilized as a treatment in the coming years. Dr. Zera says more information can lead to better prescriptions and guidelines for those exercising in water.

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Do’s and Don’ts of swimming at public pools

• Butterfly if there’s another person in the pool. This is a social space, and butterfly is a very antisocial stroke. (Exceptions: I’ve seen it done beautifully, and if that’s you, do carry on: you are magnificent and probably an Olympian. The rest of you? Stop. You are drowning children in your backwash.)
• Be in the wrong lane. Lane etiquette is terribly important. Be honest about the speed you’re swimming, and if you’re not sure, ask me. I’ll probably tell you you’re slower than you think, and that you should move into the medium lane. I am a medium-lane swimmer; there is no shame in it. Every pool should have a lane monitor who thinks exactly like me. With a whistle.
• Be cross if someone backstrokes into you. It happens. Get over it. (It’s probably me. I’m very zigzaggy at backstroke.)
• Hawk into the drains at the end of the pool. Just save your hawking till you get to the changing room. Or swallow it. Yeah, that’s an unpleasant image, but you started it with your hawking.
• Hog the ends. If you’re standing at the end, please make sure there’s room for some obsessive (ahem) to touch the end and push off again. A length doesn’t count unless you touch the end and I don’t want to inadvertently put my hand on … anyway. You get the drift. Move over. (Also, see next rule.)
• Freak out at accidental touching. It doesn’t mean anything but clumsiness. It doesn’t count as “petting”.
• Smoke. It might still need saying. Probably just to me.
• Wear a cap. I have swum into many clumps of hair in my travels; it’s not pleasant. Put a cap on it.
• Make eye-contact – why not? I know it’s hard in goggles but swimmers are, in my anecdotal experience, mostly nice. Talk, even. If people have a particularly lovely stroke, I tell them. If I like their costume, I ask where they got it. It’s called “interaction” and it’s truly not weird. I recommend it.
• Be aware of what speed you’re doing. (See Don’ts, above.) If there are loads of masters swimmers in, you may be the slowest person in the water – so go into the slow lane. You will only be judged favourably, and life will continue.
• If someone taps your foot, let them overtake you. It’s not a competition. (Unless it is.)
• Shower before you get in the water. If you get in the water dirty, the chlorine levels are YOUR FAULT. Also I don’t want swimming behind you to be a body lotion blind-tasting test.
• Be aware there are other people in the pool. (Yes, triathletes in wet suits at Tooting Bec lido, I’m looking at you.)
• Hawk into the drains at the end, not in the water – IF you have to hawk (see Don’ts, above.)
• Be nice to the people doing head-up breaststroke. That might be you one day. I hope I’m still in the water when that’s all I can manage.
This is an ongoing list, and at the moment it’s mine. In the spirit of that final “be nice”, I’d like to make it more open, more communal – so what would you add to it? If you have any suggestions, any of your own pet peeves or particular delights, behaviour you cherish or abhor in our public pools, I’ll fully consider them – unless they are mean about my own swimming abilities. So be nice.

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Cold weather?

If the cold weather has hampered your workout routine, take it inside for a few laps in the pool. The controlled environment of an indoor swim leaves no excuses as the temperatures continue to drop. Most facilities have a hot tub for a post-swim dip to really warm up before heading back out into the brisk winter air.
Cardio workouts don’t have to suffer just because the weather has changed. The added challenge of controlled breathing during a lap swim adds another dimension to your cardio training. Swimming strokes involve the arms and get the heart going quicker than a running or biking workout, while the cooling and effects of the water allow for a longer, more comfortable workout.
The low impact of a lap swim or other water routine greatly reduces next day soreness, allowing for continued activity, especially for those new to exercise or afraid of discomfort.

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Troubles? Get in the swimming pool!!!!

When long-finned pilot whales sense the presence of a potential danger, they use synchronized swimming as a defense mechanism, an international team of scientists has discovered.
Scientists from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland studed the behavior of the approximately 300 members of the species currently living in the Strait of Gibraltar and Cape Breton in Canada.
Their goal, according to a November 23 statement, was to learn more about the whales’ social structure. They found the whale populations in each location were distinct.
“They swim in complete synchrony both in the Strait of Gibraltar and Canada. When sea traffic or whale watching vessels are nearby, the whole group collectively reacts to such external stimuli The researchers also discovered the pilot whales have a social structure that is based on permanent partnerships, meaning that they could spend their entire life with the same group of cetaceans without entering and exiting other groups like bottlenose dolphins do. The study also discovered the creatures’ diving behaviors can be impacted by the presence of aquatic crafts.
“As such, when we began observing the whales up close, they tended to spend quite some time on the surface. However, the longer we spent nearby, the longer they stayed under water,This behavioral change could affect their energy levels, since they then have to make more of an effort to protect themselves and their young. In turn this limits hunting time, which means that they cannot feed their young properly.”

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