A New Wave of Aquatics Products

Pools are a thing of beauty. They can have disappearing edges, intricate tile work and interesting shapes.

They can be a shimmery oasis on a hot summer day or offer the kind of serenity achieved only by lying idly on a raft, umbrella drink in hand. The most beautiful and elaborate pools are often found in backyards or resorts. But for fitness facilities, pools are more than an aesthetic achievement. They are a valuable tool for meeting the exercise needs of special populations. Pools allow users of all shapes, sizes and abilities to experience the benefits of exercise when it would otherwise be impossible. The populations that benefit from aquatic exercise are, in most cases, physically compromised. People involved in rehabilitation from disease or surgery are two main beneficiaries of aquatic exercise. "Water's buoyancy supports disabled and rehabilitating people's needs for mobility and movement," says Tom Lachocki, CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, Colorado Spring, Colo. "Aquatic exercise helps deliver an environment to improve quality of life with less pain and aggravation." And there are other populations - pregnant women, older adults, the overweight - that can exercise more safely in the water than out.

The wave of the future

The aquatics industry has introduced a number of products to help fitness facilities enhance their members' experiences in the pool, from lifts to help get people in and out of the water, to buoyant resistance equipment, to specialized race training accessories. The pool can offer members a chance to mix up their fitness routines, or allow them to simply work out when they otherwise could not. Let's not forget another aspect of aquatics: Swimming is fun. Swim lessons are big draws for children, and there are many options for innovative group exercise programs in the water. Aquatics programming is increasingly important in the quest to attract overweight and older exercisers, and meet their unique needs. "Fitness facilities [that] understand demographic trends must prepare to attract aging and sedentary populations," says Lachocki. "Aquatic programs are ideal to deliver cardiac and respiratory health benefits with minimal exertion and low risk of injury. More people will need the water environment to restore, maintain and improve their health in the future." Whether you have a pool, are considering adding a pool to your fitness facility or upgrading the one you already have, for Lachocki, the importance of aquatics in a fitness center setting cannot be overstated for one simple reason: "Facilities and programs that support people's needs will prosper and endure."

Purchasing Guide

Aquatic Access Inc. 800 325-5438; www.aquaticaccess.com Aquatic Access expanded its line of water-powered lifts to make pools and spas accessible for overweight individuals. The new heavy-duty versions of Aquatic Access lifts, including several ADA-compliant models, feature greater lifting capacities and a variety of seating options. Aquatic Trends Inc. 800 775-9588; www.aquatictrends.com The Aquatrend water workout station is aquatic exercise equipment designed for indoor or outdoor in-ground pools. Its lightweight and compact design takes little pool space, and it is designed to provide effective, low-impact aquatic workouts. It's manufactured of marine-grade stainless steel for durability. CCSI International Inc. 800 537-8231; www.ccsiusa.com Atria commercial pool enclosures allow for water activities year-round. Atria's powdercoated, colored aluminum rafters and frames, and sliding glass doors, are designed to be durable and to require minimum maintenance. The light-transmitting insulated opening roof panels allow for natural ventilation. Extractor Corp. 800 553-3353; www.suitmate.com The Suitmate swimsuit extractor is designed to extract 95 percent of the water out of wet swimsuits in less than 10 seconds. Members who use Suitmate can pack a drip-free swimsuit to take home or leave in their locker without worrying about water damage and mildew. The U.L.-listed Suitmate is easy to mount on the wall and connects to any 115-volt circuit. Hach Company/ETS Business Unit 888 278-2243; www.aquachek.com The AquaChek Pro II professional test strips test for both low and high range hardness, cyanuric acid and total dissolved solids (TDS), and is a supplement to the AquaChek Pro five-way test strips. There are 25 strips per bottle. Kendall Products 800 348-2398; www.dri-dek.com The Dri-Dek self-draining floor system is designed to solve the problem of wet, slippery surfaces in showers, steam rooms, locker rooms and pool decks with its raised, textured surface. Dri-Dek allows water to drain away, and lifts people above the wet surface. Available in 12 colors, Dri-Dek tiles snap together and can be trimmed for custom wall-to-wall fitting or around equipment. The tiles can be cleaned using a spray hose. Kiefer 800 323-4071; www.kiefer.com Part of the line of PowerCords for aquatics and dry land training, the PowerCords Swim-In-Place Lane Trainer was developed to enhance strength training in a concentrated area using racing lanes as attachment points. The product allows trainers to isolate swimmers, perform stroke analysis, and teach and refine proper stroke technique. The cords can also be used for stationary swimming. Lincoln Equipment Inc. 800 223-5450; www.lincolnaquatics.com Lincoln Equipment Inc. distributes commercial swimming pool equipment, chemicals and supplies. It markets its services to cities, school districts, colleges, country clubs, homeowner's associations, YMCAs and other facilities with commercial-sized pools. Lincoln Equipment has a coast-to-coast network of sales offices and representatives. Med-Fit Systems Inc. 800 831-7665, ext.2; www.medfitsystems.com All-tile pools can be custom-built in virtually any size, shape or design, either as in-ground, above-ground or partially above-ground installations. Plyometric cants, running cants, resistance swim jets, ROM and jet benches, multiple depths and viewing windows can all be incorporated. Its manufacturing process and the ADA-compliant, all-tile construction are designed to ensure maximum heat retention and longevity. Pools can be shipped complete as one piece or in sections to accommodate new construction and existing facilities with difficult access. Natare Corp. 800 336-8828; www.natare.com NataDek floor and deck surfacing is for wet recreational environments, water parks, aquatic facilities, swimming pools and locker rooms. NataDek is a specially formulated PVC/polyester composite that can be installed over concrete, tile, masonry and wood surfaces to provide a waterproof, slip-resistant surface. It resists staining, deterioration, delamination, cracking and ultraviolet light. NataDek provides a safe and sanitary floor surface, and is available in six colors: sandstone, red brick, tan, sand, light grey and dark grey. Custom colors are available upon request with large orders. National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) 719 540-9119; www.nspf.org The Pool Math Workbook, designed for operators, service technicians, health officials, retail technicians and renovators, helps readers calculate pool surface area, water volume, chemical dosage amounts, saturation index, filter surface area, flow rate, filter flow rate capacity, turnover rate, heater sizing, spa water draining frequency, make-up water amount, maximum user load and total dynamic head. It begins with a basic math skills test, and is then broken into three parts: basic calculations, sample problems and sample problem solutions. It costs $19.95, plus $5 shipping and handling. OpenAire Inc. 800 267-4877; www.openaire.com OpenAire manufactures and installs retractable roof enclosures and operable skylights. These thermally broken aluminum frame structures can clear a span of more than 140 feet, with roofs that open 50 percent or more - perfect for swimming pool enclosures and indoor waterparks. OpenAire structures are energy-efficient alternatives to conventional construction. Pfeiffer Fitness LLC 305 773-0560; www.poolates.com The instructional DVD, Poolates for Core Strength and Stability, is the first volume in a three-DVD instruction series, which uses the swimming pool as its primary apparatus, and applies the principles of Pilates to aquatic exercise. The DVD kit includes a four-color, waterproof, poolside workout guide, and a versa-tube to assist with core stabilization movements. Recreation Supply Company 800 437-8072; www.recsupply.com Recreation Supply Company sells a variety of commercial swimming-pool-related items, including safety and rescue, cleaning, deck equipment, water sports equipment, toys and games, fitness gear, pumps, filters, heaters, chemicals, test kits and more. It has been serving the commercial aquatics industry for more than 25 years. Recreonics Inc. 800 428-3254; www.recreonics.com Recreonics offers portable vacuum filters that feature a durable stainless steel cartridge filter, thermal plastic pump, waterproof switch and pre-wired GFI protector, 1.5-inch suction and discharge connections, and 50-foot electrical cord, all mounted on a stainless steel cart with heavy-duty rubber wheels. Two models are available: 1-H.P. pump with 105-square-foot filter (filters more than 5,525 gallons per hour) and a 2-H.P. pump with 155-square-foot filter (filters more than 8,000 gph). RenoSys Corp. 800 783-7005; www.renosys.com RecDeck recreational PVC flooring is constructed of a durable, felt-backed PVC. RecDeck may be used in virtually any recreation area where slip resistance, durability and ease of maintenance are of primary concern. Applications include pool decks, locker and changing rooms, weight rooms, group exercise and fitness areas, recreational and multi-purpose rooms, etc. Other products include RenoSys PVC pool shell, DuraTech gutters and grating, FuturaPool modular public pools, SoftSide safety padding, ToughDeck PVC flooring, and a full range of pool and deck equipment. TMI Salt Pure Corp. 800 818-8266; www.tmisaltpure.com The X-Series is a commercial chlorine generation equipment line with individual units capable of producing more than 20 pounds of 100-percent FAC over 24 hours. These generators are specifically designed to be connected to chemistry controllers to make up the TMI Integrated Sanitizing Control System. TMI offers daily remote support and a five-year warranty. Water Gear 800 794-6432; www.watergear.com Water Gear, Pismo Beach, Calif., resistance bells are made of durable foam for a long life. They come with a padded hand grip and resistance levels of 40, 50, 60, 80 and 99 percent increase over just using the hands. The levels are color-coded for easy pairing during workout sessions.
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