We’re all stressed to some degree. Fact.
And it is almost everyone’s dream to come home, and just sit back and relax at the end of each stressful day. Thoughts of having a pampering massage or a detoxifying steam bath come to mind when we imagine what authentic relaxation would be like.
It doesn’t have to be a fantasy, though. In fact, a wonderful way to unwind and indulge in peace and tranquillity at home would be by soaking in your own backyard spa. This way, you don’t even have to leave your place and commute or drive just to experience the joys of spending a bit of ‘me’ time.
So, if reading this has got you thinking about getting a home spa installed, or if you’ve been planning to do it but you’ve putting it off for too long, here’s all you need to know about spas, and the manifold benefits they offer.
Spa 101: The Basics
Generally speaking, a spa is a small pool with seating and water jets. It is heated and designed for hydrotherapeutic purposes. Spa pools are usually built into the ground. They can also be standalone features or built as adjoining structures to a full-sized swimming pool. Spas can be installed indoor or outdoor.
Having a spa in your place is a great way to enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy or just plain water fun without the need to spend extra on pool maintenance. Spa pools come in different sizes, shapes, types, and depths, so choosing one that you like or fulfils your requirements is pretty easy.
Different types of spa pools
While getting a standalone spa is less costly compared to, say, getting a full-sized pool, you want to make sure you choose the right one for you. Once you invest in one, it can add value to your property and serve you well for years to come.
But to be sure you select the best one for your needs, get to know the different types first before making a decision.
Among the most obvious advantages of above-ground spas is the ease of installation as well as the cost savings. Since they usually come as readymade or off-the-shelf solutions, they can be installed in your place right away. By the same token, however, they don’t leave much room for personalisation, although they do come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Above-ground spas are highly cost-effective because they don’t require professional installation, and there’s no need to excavate. In fact, you can go the DIY route and install one yourself. If you move or relocate, you can just take it with you to your new place.
However, above-ground spas are also not as sturdy and durable as in-ground spas. You may also have a hard time incorporating them into your garden or landscape design as they will be jutting out or exposed above-ground.
The most common type of spa is the in-ground variety. They can easily blend into your backyard, garden, or landscape design since they are sunken, or built into the ground.
You can add some greenery and flowering plants in the spa and or pool area. You can choose what shape, colour, and dimensions you want or are suitable for your space. You can also have the benches that’ll go with your spa customised, along with the jet bubblers, spa lighting, and any other accessories you want. So if aesthetics is a priority, an in-ground spa may be an excellent choice.
You can also select what materials you want to use for the interior, such as ceramic or fibreglass; the same goes for how you would like the cement design to appear on the exterior. They are high-quality and durable, too. And with new technology available, you can now have a partially sunken in-ground spa which is suitable for properties with uneven terrain, or a sloping, uneven backyard space.
One obvious drawback, with all these advantages, is that in-ground spas are a major expense. In-ground spa installation has to be done professionally. Excavation work is required, and the spa installation process is similar to that of installing a pool.
Usually limited in sizes of four to six metres, swim spas have a counter-flow feature so you can swim for as long as you want. They are suitable for swimming and fitness enthusiasts as the power of the flow can be regulated so you can adjust the intensity of your training sessions. Any time you want to relax or rest, you can simply sit back in the wellness section. Some swim spas have the wellness section closed off the swimming section, so the temperature can be regulated as desired.
Swim spas can be installed or built into your patio, although the latter type is usually more expensive. Since they are smaller than regular pools, they are also easier to integrate into small garden spaces. Depending on the brand, model, and size you use (among other things), you can have a swim spa at an attractive price.
Among the drawbacks of a swim spa, when compared to regular swimming pools, is its smaller size, so fewer people can be comfortably accommodated in one. You may also find a substantial increase in your electricity and heating costs as the temperature of a swim spa is typically higher than that of a normal pool. The jet stream also adds to more energy consumption. The counter-flow feature may also feel unnatural at first. Moreover, swim spas are more suitable for athletic swimmers who want a personal swimming pool.
Pool and spa combo
Undoubtedly one of the more popular choices in New Zealand, a pool and spa, as the name suggests, includes a regular pool with an attached spa section. What’s great about this combination is that you have the option of enjoying the water together with family and friends. Some of the group can enjoy themselves in the swimming pool while you luxuriate in the spa section. This means there’s enough room for more people to enjoy the water; the set up can be large enough to even have a pool party.
An installed spa can also complement the aesthetics of your pool area – whether it has been a feature from the beginning or added later to the pool. You also have the freedom to get it customised in terms of colour, shape, or material, as well as the seating you want. Accessories such as speakers, waterfalls, etc., can also be integrated. You can even have the spa installed at a different level if the design suits the overall aesthetics of your space.
Conversely, a pool and spa together requires a considerable cash outlay, as well as running and maintenance costs. There may also be a lower jet count in the spa section depending on the space. You may need to consider using a custom spa pool cover to reduce energy use.
Questions to ask
With all the above options available, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions before identifying which type of spa is the most suitable for your space, budget, and lifestyle:
- What will be the main use of your spa?
- How often will you be using it?
- Who will be using the spa?
- How much space do you have in the section you plan on having it installed?
- Will it go with the aesthetics or design of the area?
- How much does the spa you want cost, and can you afford it?
Be sure to answer these questions first, and have a look around. Visit showrooms to get a feel of how much you need to allocate for the purchase and installation of your spa.
If cost is a major concern, installing a Little Pool spa entails a marginal cost and less effort when compared to other options. Our spas are also ready to go once connected to an electricity source.
Top 10 benefits of spa baths
Most people don’t need a long list of benefits to be convinced they need and will enjoy a spa bath. However, we’ve put together the following information on how getting a spa for your home can be one of the best decisions you will make.
1. Improve heart health
The beneficial cardiovascular effects of a spa bath can be attributed to how simply being neck-deep in water exerts pressure on the body, thereby giving your heart a good workout. This increases cardiac volume and strengthens the cardiovascular system.
2. Alleviate hypertension
Studies have shown that simply sitting in a spa can reduce blood pressure. Although hot water in general increases the heart rate, it also decreases the blood pressure. Again, this is a plus point for your cardiovascular health.
3. Induce sleep
Since hot water promotes relaxation, it can help you fall asleep faster. Soaking in a tub of hot water increases the body temperature and relaxes the muscles. You will then start feeling tired and drowsy. However, make sure you don’t fall asleep in a tub or spa bath. Get out and get yourself into bed instead.
4. Soothe body aches and pains
As mentioned previously, hot water helps the body to relax. In doing so, it soothes the aches and pains associated with injuries, rheumatism, and arthritis. This is the same principle behind warm water therapy. Moreover, the pleasant sensation of warmth dilates the blood vessels, so even headaches get better with a good soak.
5. Reduce stress
From the very beginning of this post, we’ve been talking about spa bath relaxation because sitting in warm water greatly reduces stress. This benefits your total health and well-being, so a good warm or hot soak can only do you good.
6. Manage anxiety
Anxiety goes hand-in-hand with stress. Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed, so you find yourself unable to relax. With the relaxation, comforting warmth, and stress relief that a spa bath offers, anxiety reduction happens naturally.
7. Detoxify the body
The heat in a clean spa environment will open your pores just like steam, and facilitate the removal of toxins. So the moment you get out of the spa, you’ll be feeling light, refreshed and invigorated, with potentially vibrant and clear skin as well.
8. Restore or improve self-confidence and well-being
There’s no doubt that you’ll emerge feeling better after a soothing soak in your spa. This means you’re relaxed, comfortable and feeling great about yourself. To help build your self-confidence, you could have a dip in your spa before a big event such as a work presentation or a job interview.
9. Spend time with friends and family
The social factor of water fun is not lost on us. Even if your spa is limited in size, you can take turns using it with your friends and family. Why not have a barbecue or buffet at home in your backyard? This way, you or your guests can relax in the spa and or pool while everyone else enjoys the food, conversation, and music amidst a pleasant ambience.
10. Appreciate the outdoors
If your spa is installed in your patio or garden area, you also get to make time to enjoy the peace and calm that comes with communing with nature – all this while you relax and reflect upon your life. You can also use this time to meditate, and appreciate the beauty of the moon and starry nights, the trees, flowers, and all the beauty that nature has to offer.
Time to have your own spa
With the information shared here, you probably have a pretty good idea about whether or not having a spa will complement your lifestyle and improve your health. However, be mindful of the risks, especially if you have any serious cardiovascular conditions, or suffer from heat sensitivity. Check with your healthcare provider that it is ok for you to indulge spa baths. Apply the same degree of precaution if you are pregnant or nursing. And remember to always hydrate as sweating can dehydrate you as well.
If you don’t have any health restrictions, a spa can certainly complement a healthy lifestyle and help make you feel better overall.
So if you are ready to embark on a spa installation project, yet don’t know where to start, get in touch with The Little Pool Co. We will help you build your own spa.
Our Little Pool products can be used as spas simply by adding spa jets to them. We also have small plunge pools measuring 2.8 metres that are fit to be used as spas right away.