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Make a Splash this Summer: A Pool Guide
4/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Make A Splash

Considering Becoming a Swimmer? Dive in!

by Emily Alford

For most kids, summertime means one thing: entire days spent splashing in the pool. However, as many of us grow older, swimming seems to get lost in the shuffle as we replace the good old-fashioned back stroke with more structured exercise routines involving endless classes, crunches, and kettle bells. However, there’s plenty of evidence supporting the idea that many of us had it right as children, when exercise meant spending time playing Marco Polo. Here are some of the benefits of adding swimming to your exercise routine. 

Swimming improves posture

Unfortunately, most of us spend our days indoors hunched over desks and clacking away at computers. Not only is sitting all day not great for the body, but the imperfect posture most of us use when typing is bad for the back and can lead to all sorts of aches and pains. When we swim, our bodies naturally stretch, and this stretching can lead to better posture in the long term along with fewer back woes. 

And provides a full-body workout

Unlike many gym activities, which only focus on one area of the body at a time, it takes pretty much every muscle we have to propel ourselves through water, from arms and legs to the abdominal muscles. Plus, swimming gives the heart a great workout at the same time. Instead of spinning on an exercise bike before hitting the free weights and the leg press, why not get a total workout all at once with a nice 30-minute swim?

That you won’t necessarily feel the next day

In many gyms the motto is "no pain, no gain,” but that’s not necessarily true of swimming. While diving right in to an Olympic training session might make one plenty sore the next day, those who ease into it will most likely feel great after a swimming session. The body’s buoyancy in the water means there’s no acute pressure on any singular area at one time, making swimming ideal for people with joint pain or osteoarthritis who might find other means of exercise too painful. 

Plus, it’s a total mood booster

According to a 2004 study published in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health, people who swam regularly for four months found themselves to be more "energetic, active and brisk” than the control group. Additionally, those suffering from complaints like fibromyalgia, rheumatism, and asthma had the added bonus of pain reduction, which is surely a mood elevator. 

If you’re considering adding swimming to your exercise routine, experts recommend staring slow, with 30-minute sessions three times a week.  

Chlorine vs. Saltwater: Which Pool is Right for You

by Rachel W. Jones

As the days get longer and warmer, many SWLA residents are eager for their first dip into a pool after the long winter hiatus.

But the type of water in your pool is an important decision to make, whether you currently have a pool or are considering spring home improvements. Is traditional chlorine or a saltwater pool the right choice for you?

It’s important to consider the experience you’re seeking with your backyard pool, says Beth Frey, Inground Pool Sales Specialist at Sabine Pools, Spas & Furniture, and a misconception often arises when comparing the two types of pools.

"Even though we all refer to pools as salt or chlorine, that ‘OR’ is inaccurate,” Frey says.  "They are both chlorine pools, but in salt pools, an extra component called a salt generator extracts the chlorine from the salt – which if you recall from Chemistry class is NaCl, or sodium chloride.  

"In a saltwater pool, salt and other water care products are added to the pool. In a chlorine pool, chemicals are added to the pool with nothing but a pump required. Besides the additional equipment required in a salt pool, the other thing to keep in mind is that salt is corrosive. 

You would not want wrought iron patio furniture or fixtures if you have a salt pool, and you would also need to closely monitor pH to avoid metal stains in the pool.”

For perspective, the ocean is more than 10 times "saltier” than a saltwater pool. Saltwater pools have approximately 3,000 parts per million (ppm) of salt, while ocean water is approximately 35,000 ppm salt, according to Frey.

"When salt pools first became popular, we had more customers asking for the ‘latest and greatest,’ but that trend didn’t stick,” Frey says. "Because of the additional up-front cost, and the recurring costs to replace the salt cell every three years - plus the corrosion factor, most families here don’t choose salt.”

Joey Tassin, owner of Sabine Pools, has had both traditional chlorine and saltwater pools for his own family. Now he has an ultraviolet system designed to provide an even cleaner, clearer swimming environment with no harmful byproducts.  

"We have a chlorine-based pool, and we use something called a UV (ultraviolet) system that enhances what chlorine can do in the pool,” Tassin said.  "The saltwater was a little too harsh on the products I was putting around the pool.  Even deck equipment, like the softer stones, the saltwater gets in there when it dries and it wants to create problems for those stones sometimes.  So the UV system is great to help reduce weekly maintenance.”

While saltwater can corrode pool or deck equipment, chlorine can be rougher on the body.  Frey says saltwater pools are viewed as safer for that reason.

"Salt is touted as a safer alternative because you don’t have to keep chlorine on hand, and some folks think you just add salt,” Frey says. "But, you still have to use additional pool chemicals. Besides adding the salt, you still have to treat the water to keep correct pH and alkalinity levels. Salt is also easier on the eyes, hair, skin and clothes, as long as it is used properly. That is not really a safety issue, but is more about the quality of the experience.”

So, what’s the bottom line? For Frey, whether you prefer chlorine, saltwater or even an ultraviolet pool system, exercise basic safety rules to ensure fun swimming and family time for years to come.

"No matter which type you choose, the first layer of protection for children is that they are ALWAYS supervised near and in the pool,” Frey says. "And, no matter which type you choose, all cleaners, chemicals and maintenance supplies should be kept in a locked storage area, away from children and pets.”

Sabine Pools is located at 3213 Common St, Lake Charles. For more information, call 337-433-1193.



More affordable, small routine expenses

Easier on pool equipment


Weekly, sometimes daily, addition of chlorine needed

Chlorine tablets will contain chemical by-products; harsher on the skin, eyes and hair



Gentler on the skin, eyes, hair and clothes

Natural chlorine already present, so fewer chemical additions required


Large initial investment; should change salt cell regularly (every 3 years)

Corrosion factor makes it not ideal for certain metal pool equipment/accessories

Pool Toys & Games

by Kristian Bland

Swimming pool fun has come a long way since the days of diving for pennies or yelling, "Fish out of water!” during a game of Marco Polo. Today’s kids (and adults) have access to a wide variety of unique and interesting pool toys.

One of the coolest and most Southern toys has to be Inflat-A-Bull from Intex. Picture an inflatable bull mounted in the center of an inner tube by a series of bouncy connective straps. Yep, it’s a bull-riding toy for the pool. It’s also a very social toy, since the more people jostle about in the water, the more waves will hit and bounce the bull around with the goal of knocking the rider off.

Floats are great for lazy days of lounging around and enjoying the breeze gently rock you around the pool, but they don’t have to be solo anymore. There are many multi-person floats on the market these days, but the one that beats them all is Swimline’s Inflatable Pizza Slice, which is exactly what it sounds like: a float in the shape of a giant slice of pizza. However, the best part is that you can combine eight of them into a circle to create one large pizza with your friends.

Kids can act out their inner hamster fantasies with the Inflatable Water Wheel from Greenco. It’s basically a hamster wheel for the pool that kids can either use as a float or, if they’re coordinated enough, as an endless treadmill they can crawl, walk, or run inside.

Bigger kids (of the over 21 variety) can get in on the pool toy fun as well since there are multiple beer pong sets available. There are also rock climbing walls that mount over the edge of the pool so you’ll land safely in the water when you either lose your grip and fall or make it to the top and just want a quick way down.

Then there are the classics like diving sticks to pick up from the bottom of the pool or diving rings that hover under the surface to create a fun obstacle course for kids and adults alike.

One toy adults and kids can have fun with together is a crazy little Log Flume Jousting Set from Swimline. Shaped like two logs upon which each person tries to stay upright, both come equipped with a double-ended inflatable jousting stick to be used in epic poolside combat as each person tries to knock the other from their log.

These are but a few of the coolest pool toys out there just waiting for you to have fun with during the lazy days of summer. Still, there’s nothing wrong with a good, old-fashioned game of Marco. . . 

 . . . Polo!

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Categories: Summer

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