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
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.
• 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.
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.
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.”
It’s fun, spacious and powerful. The adjustable swim current allows you to chose your workout pace. So you can begin your swim spa session at a casual pace and work your way up to a brisk speed. The adjustable current is also helpful for younger swimmers needing lower curents. The AGP Comjpany swim spa grab bar is helpful for those wanting to practice kicking. The Above Ground Pool & Spa Company invites you to test drive before you buy.
When planning and designing your swimming pool, there are many aesthetic elements to decide on; decking materials, coping, pool tiling or liner patterns, lighting… the list goes on! In addition to these hardscape items, your pool landscaping is a critical element to the overall look and feel of your backyard oasis. Landscaping can make your pool exotic, welcoming, lagoon-like or modern.
Plants can soften the surroundings, add privacy, or provide shade. However, because pool environments can be harsh, special care must be taken when selecting plants that are closest to the pool and may come in to contact with pool water.
From tall trees to ground cover, we’ve rounded up the best, chlorine-tolerant plants to put around your pool. As always, when selecting plants, be sure that they are recommended to grow well in your region.
Trees act as an anchor for your landscaping and provide much-desired shade. Palm trees, wax myrtle,yaupon (tree holly), devilwood, live oak, willow oak,southern magnolia, eastern red cedar and Siberian elm
are all great choices.
Shrubs act as larger space fillers. Pool-friendly options include century plant, oleander, and hawthorn.
Some grasses can grow in clumps that are quite large, filling out your landscape nicely. The best grasses for around the pool are pampas, sea oats, maiden grass, Bermuda, and zoysia. Zoysia is particularly tolerant of salt, for those pools that are salt-chlorinated.
Vines can be great ground covers (when contained properly), or can even add privacy when used with a trellis. Chlorine-tolerant vines include confederate jasmine, Carolina jessamine, honeysuckle, deep green ivy, creeping rosemary, liriope, and climbing fig.
If you have delicate plant species that you just can’t leave out of your poolside landscaping, one option is to plant them in containers, being careful to gently rinse the plants with clear tap water from time to time.
Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets build their nests close to a water source. This is a problem for many hot tub and pool owners. As fall approaches, hornets and wasps become very aggressive. Enjoying your hot tub can be difficult with stinging insects buzzing around your head, luckily there are things you can do to eliminate this problem.
Wasps and hornets spend their lives collecting water and food and bringing it back to the nest. During most of the spring and summer you’ll hardly notice them (unless a nest is nearby). It isn’t until August and September that the worker wasps become aggressive. At this point their little lives are drawing to an end and they are making a last ditch effort to find food before the cold weather finishes them off. This is when you’re at the highest risk of being stung.
The best method for dealing with wasps is prevention. If you can prevent them from taking up residence or congregating in an area that you use, you may both live in peace.
Create a Barrier: Wasps are attracted to hot tubs because they are a water source. Prevent the wasps from accessing your hot tub water by using a Floating Hot Tub Blanket. These blankets lay on top of the water, insulating by eliminating evaporation and blocking debris and insects from accessing the water.
Repel Wasps: Wasps are repelled by certain smells such as eucalyptus and mint. Prevent wasps from being attracted to your hot tub by using a Eucalyptus or Mint scented hot tub aromatherapy fragrance.
Wasp & Hornet Traps
Traps which contain attractant vials are highly effective at trapping and drowning wasps and hornets, and do not attract honey bees. By adding a few drops of dish soap to the water chamber, the wasps will not be able to float on top of the water and will drown. You’ll need to replace the attractant vial about once every 1-2 weeks, and dump the dead wasps out every other day or so.
These traps create a diversion and help reduce or eliminate the wasps frequenting your hot tub.
Wearing street clothes in the pool can affect your water and actually the pool itself. While an occasionally dip in the pool in regular clothes probably won’t make that much of a difference, regular swimming from many different people in every day street clothes can negatively impact your water clarity, quality and even cause damage to your pools drains and filter.
Fibers and Strands
Most normal street clothes that you might consider okay for a dip in the pool are usually made from cotton or some form of a cotton textile such as denim. These clothes can fray easily and leave little bits and pieces of themselves behind such as strings from a pair of cut off jeans. While one or two of these little strands won’t really impact your pool in any way, if you have a lot of people diving into your pool in these types of clothing the strands can start to add up.Over time, this will clog up your drain and it could even clog your filter or pipes leaving you with quite a mess to clean up and repair in order to get your pool back into working order again. Clothing Dyes
Not all clothing dyes are made alike and many of them simply don’t mix well with the chlorine that is in your pool. If you have a big group over for a pool party and several of them swim in clothes that are heavily dyed you might notice that your pool appears a little cloudy the next day. That is because the chlorine interacts with these dyes causing them to bleed into the water thus giving it that cloudy and unhealthy appearance.
Cotton fibers can harbor bacteria and fiber for much longer than other types of swimsuit materials. No matter how well you think you know someone, you don’t really know where they have been and what they have been doing before they want to jump into your pool. Their clothing could be hiding types of bacteria or viruses that could cause some of your other guests to get sick after taking a dip in the pool.
While it is true that many of these bacteria won’t survive a soaking with chlorine, some are strong enough to withstand the drenching and could make their way to one of your unsuspecting guests. This potential health hazard is actually one of the biggest reasons public pools ban the use of the clothing.
Comfort and Safety
Have you ever jumped into a pool or lake with your clothes on? If not, you should try it sometime. It is not the most comfortable experience in the world especially if you are wearing jeans. The clothes quickly become heavy and cumbersome making it more difficult to swim and move leading to potential safety issues especially for those that aren’t the strongest swimmers.While the occasional dip in the pool probably won’t cause any problems both for your pool or the water, regular swimming in street clothes by you or multiple people is most definitely not recommended as it can damage the filter and other parts of the pool as well as putting your pool water at risk for bacteria and clouding the water and making your pool look ugly. In short, if you have a swimsuit, grab it and put it on before you dive in for as swim.
It’s no secret that swimming is one of the best exercises you can do to sculpt your body and lose weight. Anyone who has ever been swimming knows how much of a workout it is whether they are trying to exercise or not. Still, many believe that you have to be a first class swimmer in order to gain the best health benefits in a pool. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
While full length swims are great cardiovascular and muscular workouts, there are many different exercises you can perform in your aboveground pool while you are close to the side that can rapidly help you get in shape and burn fat. Today, let’s take a look at a 15 minute workout that you can do regardless of your swimming proficiency that will help you burn fat and lose weight.
Start Your Workout
So are you ready to get in shape? Great. It’s time to put your pool to work for you.
Step 1: The Warm Up
Time: 2 Minutes
Before you begin with your exercises, take a couple of minutes to just walk around your pool, swinging your arms back and forth to begin to warm up your muscles.
Step 2: Jog in Place
Time: 2 Minutes
Remain in the pool and begin to jog in place lifting your knees high as you jog. This will most likely bring your legs up and out of the water and then back in again. Continue this exercise for 2 minutes.
Step 3: Tick-tock Hop
Time: 2 Minutes
After you complete your jog, immediately bring your feet together and begin to jump from side to side in the the pool.
Step 4: Squat Jump
Time: 2 Minutes
Squat down as low as you can go in the water without submersing your head while keeping your arms extended at shoulder height. Jump as high as you can while raising your arms over your head. Continue these jumps from 2 minutes.
Step 5: Flutter Kick
Time: 2 Minutes
Move to the edge of the pool and hold onto the edge of the pool with your arms extended while you are on your stomach. Begin to kick your legs quickly just as you did when you first learned how to swim. Maintain the kicks for a full two minutes why trying to focus on keeping the same speed the entire time.
Step 6: Bicycle
Time: 2 Minutes
Turn around with your back against the side of the pool. Outstretch your arms on the edge of the pool and allow your legs to float. Begin performing a pedal motion just as you would if you were riding a bike just at the surface of the water. Bike in the water for 2 minutes while focusing on maintaining the same speed.
Step 7: Crunch
Time: 2 Minutes
From the bicycle position, extend your legs in front of you keeping your feet together. Pull both knees into your chest and return them to the extended position. Continue this for 2 minutes focusing on the full movement in and out during the exercise.
Step 8: Cool Down
Time: 1 Minute
Once you have completed your crunches, stop and allow your legs to move under you until you are standing again in the pool. Begin to walk around slowly while swinging your arms in the water cooling your muscles down in the process.
Extend Your Time
Once your body becomes adjusted to this workout, you will need to increase the time in 5 minute intervals performing these exercises just a little longer each time. With a little work, you will notice your body getting stronger and your ability to perform these exercises for longer periods of time will improve as well. If you are a good swimmer, consider supplementing these exercises with laps around the pool as well to further stretch and strengthen your muscles and improve your cardiovascular endurance and performance.