For more than a year now, life for us all has been tough due to the impact of covid across the world. Those everyday luxuries we previously took for granted because we thought it’ll always be available have been taken away. Of these, our main place of exercise – which helped to set us up for the day, split the day up, or help end it with a final burst of energy – has made many people rethink how they get their hit of physical activity.
Following on from our recent article around the trend for home gyms following the forced closure of health clubs, Elysium Magazine spoke to Chris Hayes, Managing Director from the Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA), about how you can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of swimming by investing in your own home swimming pool. As part of this, we also look at some of the common myths about owning and maintaining a home swimming pool or spa and some key considerations to make before the discerning gent takes the plunge.
Swim away the stress
Unsurprisingly, mental health has been high on the agenda over the past year, with more people affected due to the global pandemic. With that said, it’s a more common issue than some might think, with approximately one in four people experiencing a mental health problem in any given year.
The most common mental health issues people face are stress, depression and anxiety. Exercise and keeping active can often positively impact our mental health as it has been shown to improve our mood, self-esteem, and sleep patterns, thereby reducing the risk of depression.
In fact, Swim England found that swimming has significantly reduced the symptoms of anxiety or depression for 1.4 million adults in Britain. Almost half a million British adults with mental health problems have stated that the number of visits to a medical professional regarding their mental health has reduced because of swimming. The benefits of swimming on our body and mind are incredibly powerful and should not be underestimated.
So why not swim at home?
As much as you might enjoy swimming at your local leisure club or spa whilst catching up with friends, there’s certainly something to be said for having the option to swim at home, whenever the mood takes you, and whatever time of day or night.
However, there are many misconceptions about owning your own pool. Mick Guthrie, Founder and Managing Director at Whitewaters, the indoor pool and spa specialists, dispels some of these myths:
“The most popular misconceptions we hear are that swimming pools are expensive to run and can be smelly. Providing the pool is well designed and properly maintained, then neither is true.
“The running costs for an indoor pool are in line with a family membership at a private health club. Furthermore, modern water treatment technologies such as UV and ozone mean that a residential pool can operate with minimal reliance on chemicals, and for indoor pools, a properly designed air handling system will make sure there is no damp air circulating the rest of the house.”
Aside from the initial outlay of designing and building your home pool, whether inside or outside, the maintenance and upkeep are minimal with modern pools, and as Mick says, the costs are parallel with what you’d pay your local health club. It’s worth weighing up so you can enjoy that luxury lifestyle on your own doorstep.
Indoor or outdoor?
This is probably the first question you need to ponder, and both offer different benefits. With an indoor pool, the biggest benefit is, of course, its usability all year round, whatever the weather. However, the initial outlay is often more costly because of the added cost of its indoor housing. Furthermore, when the sun is shining, you’re stuck indoors.
On the other hand, an outdoor pool can be luxurious in the summer, and its design is not as limited when it comes to shape and size. Yet, many would consider it a seasonal treat! A heated outdoor pool can be used all year round, as long as you don’t mind a touch of garden frost in winter, but then you’ve got the additional heating cost to consider. An enclosure can be an addition to an outdoor pool which can provide the best of both worlds.
Seek out advice from the experts
If you’re seriously weighing up the options, Chris advises that you do your research, write up a list of questions, and seek out an expert. As the trade association for swimming pool companies across the UK, all SPATA members work to an agreed set of national standards, providing that extra bit of reassurance about their credibility, experience and expertise. Furthermore, engaging an expert at the early stages of planning will often save you time and money in the long run.
SPATEX, the UK’s only dedicated, international spa, pool and wellness show, took place virtually in February 2021, and there is a plethora of information to help get those creative juices flowing; simply visit www.spatex.co.uk.
For design inspiration from SPATA award-winners, to find out more about SPATA and connect with one of its members, please visit www.spata.co.uk. Check out their Instagram for all the swimming pool inspo you will need!