For most swim spa owners, the cover is sort of a necessary evil. Yes, it helps your spa run efficiently because it holds in heat, and it helps keep your spa clean by keeping out dirt and debris. But it can also be unwieldy, difficult to manage, and unsightly.
You see, most spa covers are made with foam core. They do a fine job of keeping your water clean, and an OK job of holding in the heat. But they’re also absorbent and hold a lot of water. And we’re talking about something that’s around water 100 percent of the time. The foam is exposed to condensation inside the swim spa, and if your spa is outdoors, rain and snow on the exterior. Under these conditions, the foam easily becomes saturated, heavy, and difficult to move.
The material over the foam core on a traditional swim spa cover is constantly exposed to the elements if your swim spa is outdoors. (And most are.) It doesn’t take long at all for the UV rays to weaken the material, allowing more moisture to seep through and weigh down the foam. Additionally, the sun’s rays can cause unsightly fading and cracking.
End 2 End Swim Spa Covers offer a solution. They’re constructed with state-of-the-art technology using closed-cell foam. This material will not absorb any water, under any conditions, meaning your cover is always lightweight and easy to manage. Plus, the full-frame design means it’s strong.
End 2 End Covers also feature a UV coating that will keep the fabric looking great for many years, and an easy roll-on, roll-off design so one person can easily manage the cover.
If you’re ready to protect your swim spa with a stylish cover that will look great for years to come, give us a call or stop by the showroom to learn more.
First..You’ll need to set up two zones. One for direct heat, and one for indirect heat. Sear whatever you’re cooking on the direct heat, and then move it to the cooler side so it doesn’t overcook.
Second…It’s important to know when to close the lid – and when to leave it open. When you’re cooking foods that cook quickly, like vegetables or shrimp, leave it open. But to properly cook meats like chicken or steak, close it to keep the heat in and the temperature high.
Third…If you’re making burgers, try using salt, pepper and canola oil to prepare the patties. (Then close the lid for a few minutes after you add the cheese to make sure it melts. There’s nothing worse than a cheeseburger with cold cheese!)
Fourth…Season all other meat well. Pick up your favorite mix from the store or make your own. Marinades are great and can help keep meat tender. If you don’t have time for that, try a dry rub. Yummy!
Fifth…If you want to cook veggies, keep them whole or in larger sections so they don’t fall through the grate. You can also place them on water-soaked or metal skewers, or use a specially made grill basket. Season your veggies well prior to cooking, too. If you’ve never tried grilled vegetables before, you’re in for a treat. Mushrooms, onions, zucchini, peppers and even pineapple (yes, we know it’s a fruit) are amazing when grilled.
Sixth…Don’t mess with the food too much. If your food is sticking, it’s most likely because it’s not done cooking. Leave it alone for a bit, and try to turn the food only once. So, what do you think? Are you ready to conquer the flame?
Who doesn’t love to spend hot summer days (and nights) in the pool? Whether you’re having fun with family and friends or relaxing by yourself – maybe with a cool drink? – there aren’t many better ways to while away an afternoon.
Sometimes, though, budgets or space mean installing your own swimming pool isn’t feasible. If that’s your situation, have you ever considered a swim spa?
We proudly carry the Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas line. They come in a variety of sizes, and offer features that just aren’t available on traditional swimming pools. Install yours above ground, in ground or partially recessed, indoors or out.
If you enjoy swimming for fitness or other forms of water exercise, a swim spa is made for you. The powerful jets allow you to swim against the current for unlimited distances at the speed that’s comfortable for you. Turn off the current, and the flat bottom is perfect for all forms of water aerobics and other low-impact exercise. The Aquatic Exercise System includes a rowing kit and resistance bands and comes standard on all models.
All models also include dedicated hydrotherapy areas with powerful massaging jets, so after your workout, after work, or for any reason you choose – you can enjoy a relaxing massage.
Beyond all that, though, swim spas are fun! There’s plenty of room for the family to play and relax together. The adjustable temperature means you can enjoy the warm soothing water of a spa when you need it, or the cooler water of a typical swimming pool when you’re ready for some summer fun.
Or, add a sound system, water features or LED lights to your swim spa for a truly customized experience. You can even watch your favorite shows or movies on your iPad while you’re in your swim spa, with our waterproof iPad case and heavy-duty suction stand.
If you think a swim spa might be just what your summer needs, stop by our showroom soon to check out our line of Michael Phelps Swim Spas and choose the model that’s best for you! In the meantime, check out this gallery for some inspiration!
The WaterThe first thing you should do is add a system flush to the water, and allow it to circulate for 30 minutes or more, with the jets on. This will break up any unwanted build-up in the plumbing and allow it to be trapped by your filter. Then drain the spa, clean or replace the filter (more on that in a minute), and refill your spa with fresh water. Once your spa is filled, be sure to follow the proper steps to re-balance the water chemistry. If you have questions about this, just ask us!
The EquipmentCarefully check your plumbing, pump, heater and the spa itself for signs of wear and tear. Do you see any rust or leaks? Look closely at the seals on the pumps and motors, too. If you see an issue, it’s a lot easier on your wallet to replace the seal now, than the pump or motor later. When you remove the filter, check it for signs of fraying and if you find them, go ahead and replace it. Filters are relatively inexpensive and when in good condition make it much easier to maintain fresh, clean water in your spa. Finally, check the hot tub itself for cracks, the insulation for any signs of pests like mice or bugs, and look for rotting wood, mold or other potential problems.
The ExteriorNow is also a great time to give your cover a little TLC. Use a mild, general cleanser to remove any dirt and build-up, and apply a protectant to help keep your cover looking great. If you have a vinyl cover be sure to avoid cleaners with ammonia, bleach, wax or silicone, because these can actually damage your cover in the long run. Go ahead and clean up around your hot tub, too. Remove any weeds or debris that may have accumulated over the winter, and clean the outside of the spa as well.
Check it OutFinally, once it’s refilled and ready to go, it’s time to make sure everything is working as it should. Does the cover latch properly? Are all the jets working correctly? Actually, this last step may require you to slip on your suit and get in for a while. You know – just to make sure everything is OK. We’re pretty sure that won’t be a problem.
If your hot tub or swim spa is located in a sunroom, open the windows so you can enjoy the sound of the rain.The weather might be a little cool, but that’s OK – you’ll be soaking in your hot tub, after all!
If your hot tub or swim spa is outside and you don’t already have a gazebo or umbrella covering, grab a hat.It’ll keep your head warm and dry, and help you enjoy your hot tub time even more.
Enjoy your favorite hot drink.Fill an insulated mug with coffee, hot chocolate, cider – even a hot toddy if that’s your preference. You’ll be warm on the inside, and the outside. Many Master Spas models include integrated cup holders, so there’s always a convenient place to set your refreshment.
You’re going to want a towel as soon as you step out of your hot tub or swim spa, but keeping it dry in the rain might be a problem.Consider placing it in a large waterproof bag before you take it outside to keep it nice and dry. If you want a special treat, throw a towel or robe in the dryer before you head outdoors. Just imagine how cozy and warm it will feel straight out of the dryer.
Complete the mood with your favorite tunes.With a Bluetooth-compatible sound system like the one on the Master Spas LSX 700, you can enjoy your music without worrying about your phone being outside in the rain.
Add aromatherapy, bring a book or e-reader if your spa is under cover, add some toys for the kids if they’ll be joining you, and the stage is set for the best rainy day ever!
Keep the glass clean.All glass can become dirty or dusty over time. In a sauna, the constant cycles of heating and cooling can make the grime more difficult to remove. About once a month or so, clean the glass on the inside and outside of your sauna with a natural glass cleaner to keep it streak-free and squeaky-clean.
Keep those seats and backrests clean, too.When you sauna, you sweat. After all, that’s pretty much the point, right? And sometimes, sweat can stain all that lovely wood. It may be surprising, but one of the best ways to remove sweat stains from the wooden benches and backrests in your sauna is with fine sandpaper. Lightly go over the stained area until the stain is gone. If the stain is too deep, try a wood surface cleaner designed for saunas. No matter what, though, don’t use bleach. This can actually dry out the wood and cause splintering over time – something you definitely want to avoid! To avoid stains in the first place, always sit on a clean towel, and place another behind your back and against the headrest.
Don’t forget the exterior.If you really want to keep your Good Health Sauna looking as great as it did the day it was installed, you can use high-quality furniture cleaners and polishers on the exterior wood and door handles. Just clean with a soft cloth like you would any piece of wood furniture in your home.
Your sauna was an investment in personal peace.But it’s hard to feel peaceful when your environment isn’t clean and well-maintained. With just a little effort, you can make sure your Good Health Sauna remains just as lovely and serene as the day it was installed.
- Aquatic Therapy and Flexibility. Relaxing fully immersed in warm water lets your aching body experience true buoyancy. You can completely relax your muscles and stretch unimpeded in an environment where you are more naturally flexible. This will help you stay loose and limber, even as your muscles cramp, and tighten and your joints shift or swell during the course of your pregnancy.
- Hot Baths Leave You Lukewarm – in a traditional bathtub – it’s often too tough to regulate the temperature. You need to make sure the water in your tub is between 98-100 degrees. Getting that bathwater to the right temp is tough – it’s usually too hot – and then it cools off too quickly. Plus, bathtubs are usually too narrow or shallow to allow you to be covered with water and you miss out on many of the benefits of stretching and actually being able to float in the water. Typically, your poor baby bump gets left out in the cold while the rest of you overheats…it can actually be more annoying than relaxing.
- Bust out the water weights and get toned! If you get a hot tub with 4 or more seats, you will be able to have enough space to use in water weights for your arms and ankles, and do some aquatic toning exercises to keep up your muscle mass and tone during your pregnancy. It’s relaxing because it’s low impact exercise, but it’s still effective because of the water resistance – plus you’re working out in luxurious warm water – a win win situation.
- Stress Reduction – everyone tells us we’re supposed to relax and not worry when we are pregnant. “Stress is bad for the baby!” they say, meaning well, not realizing that they just helped up our dose of anxiety a little bit. Taking time out of your busy schedule, away from your “to do” list, and disconnecting from the constant stream of pregnancy data available on our electronic devices – will help you get true peace of mind. Leave the cell phone and ipad inside and soak in the warm water while you stargaze with your sweetie. You don’t even have to talk about baby names – just chill out and relax together.
- Invest NOW in your FUTURE health. As soon as your precious babe is born, you and your partner are going to be entering one of the most stressful phases of your life – investing the cash in a hot tub NOW before the onslaught of medical bills, busy schedule and sleepless nights – will assure that you continue to this heavenly habit to connect to each other and relax your tired bodies and brains on a regular basis – at home – where you will be stuck hanging out together for a while.
Now, I just so happen to work for a hot tub and swim spa dealer in Las Cruces New Mexico. I’ve also been a swimmer for years – and enjoy regularly swimming in our swim spas in the Las Cruces showroom after hours – it’s not only a great workout, it’s extremely relaxing and I don’t have to share lanes with anyone at the public pool! Because of my job, I know a LOT about hot tubs and swim spas. I know about pool chemicals, water care, and I know about our Master Spas brand – that our ecopur filters and ozone treatment allows us to use BARELY any chlorine in the water – so I have felt safe swimming in the water – even since I found out about my little pea in the pod 7 months ago.
But the hot tubs I did more research on. There is evidence of HOT water in early pregnancy (first trimester) being a potential cause of spinal cord defects in infants. Obviously -we want to avoid something like that. I consulted with my physician and with my acupuncturist to get more details on things to avoid. Turns out the list is pretty short – and here it is for your convenience!
- Keep the water at 98-100 degrees – no hotter. It still feels REALLY good at this temperature – to get in an soak. Just the buoyancy alone is a fantastic feeling let alone being in a LARGE water vessel and being able to float in warm water.
- If you turn the jets on in the tub – turn off the ones on the balls of your feel, middle of your back and over your shoulders – these are pressure points you want to avoid – because they can stimulate early labor (especially in the 3rd Trimester)
- Soak for 10-15 minutes at a time, then cool off.
- Wait a day if you add chlorine or chemicals to the water – water that smells like chlorine is not that enjoyable anyway.
- Use the cool Spazazz Aromatherapy crystals to add additional ambiance and a lovely scent to the water – the lavender ones are highly recommended.
Swimming in the store swim spa has also been a terrific source of pain relief, and has helped me stay flexible and toned throughout my pregnancy! I have been able to swim regularly, use the pilates resistance bands and do gentle walking and stretching in the water against the current – to keep my muscles working – but able to do it in a low impact water environment which is easier on my joints – especially my hips and lower back muscles. I have a lot of clients who have purchased swim spas to help with arthritis.
At the beginning of my pregnancy I weighed 204 – now 7 months in, I weigh 205 – AND in the past 7 months, with the help of my swim spa exercise and eating healthy – I have converted much of my previous “wine & cheese weight” to an adorable baby. My doctor told me it is fine that I haven’t gained weight – he even advised me in the beginning that I didn’t need to gain any – so I’m thrilled at what we have dubbed “The baby diet”. Once the baby is born, I’ll actually weigh less than pre-baby AND have more muscle. So I’m planning to parlay that into more swimming – to get in better shape.
In summary – using a hot tub daily, at lower temperatures throughout my pregnancy at home has been a HUGE physical relief to me. It has helped me reduce stress and enjoy the experience.
It has helped soothe my back muscles, leg muscles, tight belly cramps, headaches, neck aches, and allowed me to relax and get some peace and quiet both at the beginning and the end of the day on a regular basis over the past 7 months.
Having space to move around in a hot tub, enough water to actually “float” in and do stretching in warm water has been great. A bath tub is JUST not the same when your belly is 3x as big as it used to be. There isn’t enough water to cover your baby bump – so it’s left out there all cold and alone. You end up feeling like you’re wedged into a butter dish with some lukewarm water filling in the gaps.
One last benefit I cannot emphasize enough – taking time to connect to my honey -is a HUGE one that I didn’t even really consider before I started using the hot tub during pregnancy.
We have a busy life – and taking time to sit and soak together in peace and quiet at the end of the day – and gaze at the stars and moon in our hot tub – while getting our minds ready for a peaceful night of sleep – is a treasure I could not possibly put a price tag on. These are the last months of our “freedom” as a married couple without kids -and important months for bonding together and getting on the same page as partners. I want to appreciate every moment we have before our kiddo comes along and turns our life upside down. Spending time each day talking, holding hands and laughing together away from electronics, the TV or other distractions has been an enormous benefit, and a habit I’m sure we’ll continue after the baby comes along.
Whether you are currently pregnant and seeking pain relief, or looking for an exercise option during AND after pregnancy – I can personally recommend hot tubs and swim spas during pregnancy – AND LONG AFTER – as a huge value added health and stress relief bonus in your life. There is really no other past time, hobby or habit that gives you the opportunity to connect to the people around you in the same way AND adds health benefits on a daily basis in the long run.
Come see us at the El Paso Home Show this weekend March 10th-11th or email us for more details about our spa models!
In Finland, and many other Nordic cultures, however, there’s an extra twist. It’s common for them to cap off the extreme heat of a sauna session with the extreme cold of a quick plunge in ice water or an ice cold shower.While this might sound somewhat alien to us, there is increasing medical and scientific consensus that these rapid changes in temperature extremes can benefit the health and well-being of those who take up the practice. This is particularly true for people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Experts believe that this practice elevates blood pressure by making blood vessels rapidly expand. This reduces inflammation — and the agonizing pain associated with the condition. Many adherents to the Nordic practice also say that finishing with a cold plunge prevents rheumatoid flare ups the next day, which is a common complaint of sufferers who only spend time in a sauna without following it up with a session of cold.
- Another benefit is the release of endorphins that comes with the rapid conflict of temperature extremes. This can have a numbing effect on pain, and an endorphin rush has one other added benefit: it simply makes you happy.
- Finally, those who take an icy plunge after they exit the sauna report healthier skin and improved recovery from muscle pain.