A lap pool is a swimming pool that is designed specifically for the purpose of swimming laps. It may also be called an exercise or personal pool, because it is usually intended for the use of one person who wants to use swimming to stay fit. Many pool companies offer installation to their clients who want the convenience of a small pool at home, and these pools can sometimes be found in innovative places. Some architects carefully integrate them into their home designs to create a seamless and stylish water accent in addition to a place to work out.
Typically, lap pools are long and narrow, allowing people to swim back and forth for as many laps of exercise as they desire. Sometimes, a pool will have a slightly unusual shape, but the classic and basic design is a simple rectangle. The water is usually of a uniform depth as well, which can make them dangerous for children and pets, who might have difficulty getting out if they fall in. Lap pools may be heated or unheated, depending on the region, and they are usually very easy to maintain.
In cases where people have very limited space for the installation, an "endless" pool may be installed. Endless pools have a steady resistance current that swimmers can work against for exercise. Essentially, they work like treadmills, as the swimmer stays in the same place in the water, but gets a great deal of exercise thanks to the current.
An indoor lap pool may be installed as part of a fitness room or greenhouse, or it may be integrated into a public area of a home. Some designer homes, for example, integrate such a pool in the living room so that the home owner can enjoy beautiful views while he or she swims, while taking advantage of the water as a decorative home feature. A pool may also be placed outdoors, and in temperate climates, it can fit in well in a small backyard.
Swimming is a good way to work out since it can be used by people at all levels of physical ability. It is gentle on the joints of the body, which is why many older people or people with disabilities choose to swim, since it gently builds muscle without creating strain. Swimming can also help to reduce overall stress, like many other forms of exercise, which is why it is often popular with urban dwellers.