Imagine this: Linda Bain of De Pere goes to Florida in the midst of a cold Wisconsin winter and ends up missing her pool.
Bain explains this strange scenario by offering a tour of their Endless Pools exercise pool, now the focal point of her basement.
She and her husband, Bert, had the five-foot-deep pool installed a year ago as a means of relieving Linda's joint pain caused by connective tissue disease.
The pool came in a kit from the Pennsylvania company which promotes them for triathlon training, water therapy, aquatic exercise and relaxation.
The retired mail carrier said she read about the pool in an airplane magazine on the way home from a trip and was intrigued. "This pool has literally changed my life," she said. "Many people out there could benefit from something like this. You can do any kind of exercise routines you can think of and enjoy it."
Bain wasn't able to stick with any one exercise routine before the arrival of her pool kit. But she's in the water three times a day most days now, swimming against the pool's current. When she's not swimming, she's doing kick exercises by gripping the stainless steel bar that comes with the kit.
She counted her strokes when she first tried the pool out and could manage just 22 breast strokes or side strokes. Today, she does 200 to 300 strokes, despite having past shoulder and knee surgeries. She can do about 500 leg kicks holding onto the built-in-kickbar and swims more than she ever did.
"You can swim all day and never go anywhere," she said, noting that the pool's adjustable current level offers her resistance training.
The beauty of this kit, according to Bain, is that any home owner can build one for the basement, garage or patio.
"Two people can put it together on a slab," she said.
The pool doesn't require excavation for its normal 39-inch depth, but the Bains wanted theirs to be five feet deep so they excavated to accommodate an extra 16 inches.
"A year ago I could not have walked around Disney World," she said.
Bain said its cost is comparable to a good automobile complete with electric heater and motor. She and her husband converted the electric heater to a gas heater and added extras like a child proof pool cover to keep the heat in and humidity out of the room.
The pool is low maintenance. The manufacturer estimates it costs about the same as a hot tub to operate.
Bain can't regulate Florida's water temperatures when she's vacationing, but she can keep her home pool at a constant 86 degrees.
Amy Schaeuble, health and fitness director at the Downtown YMCA, sees therapeutic uses for water therapy for people of all ages, from older adults with arthritis to young people rehabilitating after sports injuries.
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