Pro Tips with Jamie Snyder

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Swimming Pool: Health Benefits of Water Workouts

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Tue, May 29, 2012 @ 24:09 AM

swimming_pool_landscaper_chester_nyLet’s admit it: Sometimes it is just no fun to exercise. And there are tons of excuses why today is a bad day to pack your sports gear and head for the gym. Yes, you have to do that laundry and weed the flowerbed and vacuum your car. So, why not just get it done and than reward yourself with a jump into the sparkling clear water of your pool. You deserve it!

And this is just one of the reasons why a backyard swimming pool can be the start to a new, healthier lifestyle. Ditch the time you have to spend in the car to drive to the gym. Having a swimming pool right outside the patio-door will make a daily exercise routine as simple as putting on a bathing suit.

The other big plus is, that swimming is good for everyone. Swimming is one of the sports you can continue until a very high age. It is suitable for the superfit sporting ace, as well as for somebody having problems breathing due to asthma or recovering from an injury and not being able to put stress on body and joints.

Benefits for Asthma-Patients
Since swimming does improve the lung volume and encourages good breathing techniques it is very beneficial for the respiratory system. Another plus for swimming is that it takes place in a moist and humid environment, which is gentler on the longs, than most non-water-based sports or a workout routines. Unfortunately the dry air in an indoor gym can often be dry, which is likely to cause asthmatic symptoms

Gentle on the Joint
Since water is much denser than air, our body is almost weightless when immersed in water. Therefore doctors often recommend some kind of water exercise when you are recovering from an injury or when you have to go gentle on your joints. Try also stretching in the water.

Great Way to Spend Some Family Time
Fact is, that your kids will love to splash in the pool with you on a hot summer day or after a long day at school. It will be easy to encourage to any kind of game or swim-race - and all of you will have your exercise in for the day. Plus, you spent some fun quality time together.

Another tip: Don’t get discouraged if you can’t swim for a full half hour at a time at first. Your body has to adjust not the new way of breathing and swimming really does require every muscle in your body to move and stay afloat. That is not an easy task, so take it slow. Try swimming four length of the pool or as many length as are easy for you, rest 30 seconds and than repeat swimming lengthwise five to ten times. Increase the amount of time you swim without resting over time. Invite a friend to swim some laps with you if you need extra encouragement.
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Swimming Pool Fitness: Get the Most out of your Laps

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Thu, May 24, 2012 @ 33:07 AM

swimming_pool_Dealer_chester_nySwimming is fun - and great exercise. But if you are not used to swim for long stretches at all, it can be pretty strenuous. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t swim for a full half hour at a time at first. Your body has to adjust to the new way of breathing. Swimming really does require every muscle in your body to move and stay afloat. Since it really pays off to swim the right way - here are the movements of the three basic strokes:

Freestyle
This style burns the most calories. Think icecream scoops while you swing your arms alternately in an arch above the surface; push the water back until your hand reaches your hip. Than lift your arm at the side of your torso starting with the elbow and swing for another arch. Your legs should be as straight as possible and move up and down in a scissor like motion without splashing the water.

Breaststroke
Make sure your head is in not craned above the surface, which would be strenuous on your neck. Professional swimmers just have the eyes above the water, the lower portion of the face is actually below the surface and just comes up to get a breath. To get the best workout you need to sweep through. Put your palms together and stretch your arms out above your head. Rotating your palms outward you pull back until your hands almost reach your chin, than bring your palms together again in front of your chest and reach up again.

For the leg movement simply remember the sequence: “Chicken, airplane, soldier.” For chicken bend your knees and bring your heels toward your but, airplane means to stretch your legs back and outwards and for soldier push your legs together as you extend your arms forward.

Backstroke
The perfect way to relax your back: Make sure you look straight up to the sky, so that your head is aligned with your spine. When you reach back with your arms think of the letter Y, than simply push the water towards your toes with your palms. For the legs use a simple scissor kick.

If you are not used to swim for long stretches at all, use a kickboard to help you stay afloat and practice your legs separately. You can also practice the moves with arms and legs separately while standing in the water or holding on to the side of the swimming pool.

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Swimming Pool Apps for your Smartphone

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Fri, May 18, 2012 @ 43:07 AM

swimming_pool_apps_iphone_androidThere is an App for everything and everyone in our days. We searched the market to find the best smartphone applications for swimming pool owners. Some are free, some require a small payment. Here is our top 5:

Pool Doctor:
This application is especially designed for pool and spa owners. The Pool Doctor app has calculators to determine water volume for rectangular, circular or oval pools, but also features instructions of how to calculate the water volume in unusually shaped pools or spas. Than you simply have to enter information and test results (from any test kit) and the Pool Doctor will give you a customized treatment prescription. If this is not enough, you can use the “Ask the Doctor” feature, which should provide you with an answer in 24 hours.

Pool Calculator:
The Pool Calculator is a basic water chemistry calculator. The app is based on the web based calculator, which is out since a few years. Your simply have to enter the size and readings from your test kit and the Pool Calculator will tell you exactly how much of a certain chemical you need to add. The Pool Calculator also makes recommendations on salt, borate and stabilizer levels.

HowsMyWater:
This application makes it even easier for you to request customized pool-treatment recommendations. Simply take a picture of the test strip with your iPhone or Android and HowsMyWater will automatically color match the strip, save your data and provide customized treatments.

Swimming Pool Guide Pro:
This application by apple will make managing your pool easy and fun. It does not only help to calculate the amount of chemicals you have to use, but also provides tips on the right mixture to balance your pool and explains the facts about pH, Total Hardness, Alkalinity. Guides for pool opening and pool closing are also part of the app. Another plus are the pictures.

Swim University:
Swim University is a free application for iPhone and Droid. The App has aggregated the information of many blogs and buying guides. This will make your search for common pool problems and topics much faster and easier.

Let us know about the apps you are using and which ones you find helpful!

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Swimming Pool Heaters: The Right Option for You

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sat, May 12, 2012 @ 33:08 AM

swimming_pool_dealer_chester_nyEspecially when you live further up north and want to extend the pool session beyond the summer vacation, a pool heater can be a necessity. There is a wide array of models and sizes. Let us introduce the different options, so that you can decide which heater will work best for your swimming pool.

Direct Electric Heaters
Although there are a few advantages to direct electric heaters, we would not recommend them for a reasonable size inground pool. In general they are not as powerful as gasheaters and costly to run. But they are relatively simple devices which should run reliably for many years and you do not need to worry about exhaust gases or air flow, which offers more flexibility when it comes to find a good spot for the heater.

Natural Gas Pool Heaters
Gas pool heaters are a popular choice, since they are reliable and do not get affected by weather changes. Most of the new heaters have an efficiency rating from 80-85%. They can be considered environmentally unfriendly, when there are more efficient ways of heating a pool. In general gas heaters are powerful and can heat a pool in a few hours. If you are thinking to heat your pool just on the weekends, these heaters might be the right choice for you. They are relatively reasonable priced, whereas the cost mainly depends on the size of your pool.

Electric Heat Pumps
Electric Heat Pumps are cheap to run, environmentally friendly and very efficient. Since a heat pump does not actually produce heat, but pumps the existing heat from it’s surroundings into the water, it can reach an efficiency rate of 100 percent. Unfortunately the efficiency decreases with the air temperature. That means, the colder it gets, the longer it takes to heat your pool. This won’t matter much, if you want to heat your pool most of the time during the season.  In that case an electric heat pump will be a great choice.

Solar Heater
If you have enough space and enough sun, a solar heater is the best space for you. They require very low maintenance, are long lasting, environmentally friendly and run on free sun-energy. But there are a few disadvantages too. The area for the solar collectors needs to be at least 50 to 80 % of the surface area of your pool and even in ideal conditions the heat output can’t match those of a gas pool heater or electric heat pump. Even during the hottest days of the summer it might take several days before the water temperature is raised the same amount, a gas pool heater can reach in a few hours. In short: It really depends on your location whether a solar pool heater will work for you.

When you have decided on one option, find out how to choose the right size pool heater for your personal pool.

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Does a Swimming Pool Increase the Home Value?

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Wed, May 09, 2012 @ 55:07 AM

swimming_Pool_Landscaping_Monroe_New YorkAccording to a study of the National Association of Realtors inground swimming pools do increase the value of your home up to 8 percent. Other realtors argue, that potential buyers might shy away from a pool due to the water and maintenance costs. While both arguments are valid, the truth always depends on the location and the size of the home.

Consider the Location
While first time buyers of a small single family probably might shy away from the added cost of a pool, other people, investing in their dream home, will see an inground swimming pool as a necessity. Realtor.com allows buyers to narrow their home search to properties with only a pool. Those buyers usually also look for elegance and style.

You see, where we are going: If you are in an area, which attracts the upper scale market, a swimming pool can add quite some value. If your house were worth $500.000 the added 5 percent would add $25.000 to the selling price. Landscaping and other water features will also add to the value. Think of extra outdoor space, a BBQ area, an outdoor kitchen, a breathtaking waterfall, a koi-pond. Aesthetics play a great role, when it comes to selling a house.

Consider the Current Market
But don’t expect every improvement to pay off in its entirety. You also have to consider the current housing market, the average selling price in your area, the extra features the other properties in your proximity have to offer. An inground pool and a beautiful landscaped yard most probably will help a comparable house sell faster, but there is no guarantee, that all your investments will pay off to the last cent.

Consider Yourself
Imagine yourself being a buyer. What would attract you? Would you rather sit in a backyard surrounded by green grass - and a few weeds - or next to a shimmering swimming pool and landscaped patio looking at a breathtaking waterfall? Perhaps the most important thing to remember when adding a pool is the immediate benefit you and your family will enjoy. Do not start digging if you are solely thinking to improve the resale value, think on investing in your family life. In the end it is you and your children or grandchildren who should enjoy the pool and the extra features.

In short, a pool might increase the value of your home, can enhance your family and social life if you enjoy swimming and throwing some pool-parties, but will definitely increase the aesthetics of your yard.

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Inground Pools on Sloped Yard: 5 Ways to build

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Fri, May 04, 2012 @ 08:08 AM

retaining wall_landscaping_nyYou might wonder if the installation of an inground swimming pool is possible on a hillside. Be assured: Most yards are not flat. There are many landscaping options, which make the installation of an inground pool possible on a slope. Let us introduce some of them.

Retaining Walls
Retaining walls cannot only help to break up the slope, but also can add character to your pool project. Depending on the design of your pool, retaining walls can be installed on the uphill or the downhill side of your swimming pool.

StoneMakers Concrete
If natural stone is not an option, the new StoneMakers concrete, offers plenty of design options. StoneMakers’ propriety concrete product has the look and feel of real stone. We can completely custom color and design options and shape StoneMakers concrete into almost any design. Another advantage of using the StoneMakers process is added strength, which is important, if you want to build on a slope and soil pushes against the retaining wall. The StoneMakers product is twice as strong (6-7000 psi) as typical concrete (3-4000 psi).

Building up
Building the lower level up can be an option, but will mostly be used in addition to other landscaping projects, like a retaining wall. The reason is, that you can’t only use the excavated dirt. To guarantee a strong base and avoid future structural damage, the use of gravel or other compactable fill is strongly recommended. To avoid an even steeper slope from the pool downhill to the rest of the yard, there will be extra fill necessary. Make sure to get a good picture of the changing landscape of your yard, before you start the project. To be able to create a gentle slope, the yard also should be reasonable sized.

Grading and Landscaping
If you really do have enough space, talk to your landscaper about grading your property. The objective is to flatten the needed area while allowing for proper drainage. If the landscaping around the new project is done thoughtfully, you might even gain on enjoyable outdoor space.

Combining the Options
In most cases landscaping-expert Jamie Snyder recommends a combination of the above explained options. If you want to know, which landscaping possibilities would work best in your yard, contact The Albert Landscaping Group.

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Cool Workouts for the Swimming Pool

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sun, Apr 22, 2012 @ 55:08 AM

Building your own swimming pool can very much help you to start a healthy workout routine. Have you ever asked yourself, why there is hardly a gym, which does not offer Aqua Gym classes? The reason is simple: Water is a natural fitness tool, providing resistance, which strengthens the muscles without putting weight on your joints.

Water offers natural resistance

This makes water the ideal workout environment for just anybody, and especially people with joint injuries, patients who recover from surgery and people who want to get back into shape. Water also helps to burn calories faster. While the activity itself helps you work off some pounds, your body also has to keep its temperature up. Being immersed with water, we loose our body temperature 25 times faster than on land.

It is pretty safe to say, that you use about 8 calories per minute by simply swimming. Of course, the exact amount depends on your body weight and your speed. Here are some ideas of how you can increase the benefits of working out in your backyard pool.

Working out with little kids

Use your child as extra weight. That’s right. Instead of lifting iron, just lift your little one 20 times up and down with your arms. Another fun exercise is the leg-ride. Hold on to the edge of the pool, your back towards the side, than put your child on your legs and let them ride up and down by lifting and lowering your legs. The more you stretch your legs out, the harder it gets. Use one leg to strengthen the leg muscles, use two legs to strengthen your abs.

Use Noodle for extra resistance

With the help of a noodle you can transfer almost any exercise you would do on land into the water. Wrap the noodle around your back and hold on with your arms, than try to jog. This can even be done in deep water. For a great abs-crunch raise your legs to a 90 degree angle and push them back down again. If this is to hard, try to pull your knees up and push them back down.

Now hold the noodle in your hands in front of your body and slowly push it down. Since the noodle is buoyant you can use it as an extra resistance tool. Depending which part of your arms you want to work out, you can push the noodle, down, sideways or backwards.

 Competitive workouts

Challenge your friends and kids to an underwater run. The deeper the water gets, the more challenging this will be. Push noodles or kickboards from one side of the pool to the other, the bigger the surface the bigger the resistance and the greater the workout. This also can be used as a handicap for swimming races. If you still can beat your six-year old while pushing a horizontal board through the water, you should consider to join your local swim-team.

 Let us know how you are doing! We are also looking forward to hear about your ideas for fun workouts in your backyard pool. Ask Monroe pool builder Jamie Snyder about added features, like hot tubs and spas, to relax after your daily exercise.

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Pool Safety Check: Features worth their money

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Mon, Apr 02, 2012 @ 07:10 PM

Tragedies happen every year. Little kids can easily get stuck in the powerful drain or suction outlet of your swimming pool and drown. While all commercial pools had to upgrade their system according to the new safety standards in recent years, there are still many private pools which do not feature a SVRS (Safety Vacuum Release System) or are not VGB (Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act) compliant.

Jamie Snyder from Albert Group Landscaping and Swimming Pools recommends the pool being checked before the season starts. Often the solution to more safety is as simple as a new VS SVRSVGB cover for the drain. “The new covers are a little bit wider with more holes, but will fit every standard pool“, he says. “While new pools are required to feature two of the new drain fittings by law, many older pools might still not be up to date. Last year in Monroe, NY alone I was called to over 20 pools that were not up to date. ”

 Another interesting and money-saving option to comply with the new safety standards is the installation of a new variable speed induction motor with built-in SVRS system. “These new motors are not only safer than the regular motors, they also can save you $600 to $800 per year in electricity”, explains Snyder.

The trick is, that these motors have integrated programmable timers mounted on the top of the motor. While you need to run the motor on a higher speed (about 2400rpm) for the suction cleaner, you can slow it down to half the speed if you only need to use the filtration system.

This will make swimming not only safer, but you can also save about 75% percent of the cost for electricity. Plus: The motor runs much quieter and shuts down automatically when something is stuck to the drain. Read our in depth article about the new variable induction motors.

 

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Are fiberglass pools too slippery for comfort?

Posted by James Snyder on Wed, Apr 06, 2011 @ 22:01 PM

A Note From Jamie Albert Snyder:  This week I read an awesome blog post by Earl's Pools in Alabama and really enjoyed it. I have asked them to be a guest publisher on this site and they graciuosly agreed.The following post is By Trent King of Earl's Pools in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Are fiberglass pools too slippery for comfort?

   This is starting to become a concern to some customers, because of the new age pools are not having the traditional hand rails or ladders being installed. This has really been the trend for Leisure pools and their higher end luxurious looks for a number of reasons. Now days people are not only having pools installed for swimming, but to enhance the pool area as a showpiece used for entertaining before swimming season and when it is over. Whether its a get together or just to sit out and relax, people tend to gather around something. This is where your back yard oasis comes into play with the endless options of landscaping, outdoor fire places or pits, outdoor furniture, lighting and water features, etc. Some tend to think ladders and handrails are an eyesore and takes away from the pool or just get in the way. Although in some applications they are necessary for some people, it should not be much of a concern getting in and out of these pools. Leisure makes a non-slip surface on all the pool and spa bottoms, seats and steps. This textured surface does not take away from the colors or sparkles and is barely visible when water is in the pool or spa, but does create secure standing areas on the bottom of the pool.  If you may have any questions or concerns with the bottom texture of a fiberglass pool please feel free to contact me.  Here is a close up picture of the texture with no water on it.

albert group landscaping ebook1Click here to download our e-book - A Guide to Swimming in Quality and Style.

Swimming pool buying advice - Download our free e-book now!

Posted by James Snyder on Sat, Mar 19, 2011 @ 16:03 PM

Albert Group Landscaping and Swimming Pools Presents - A Guide to Swimming in Quality an Style.

 

  • See the to 15 Lateset trends in Swimming pool options

  • 5 common errors pool builders make

  • 5 common errors homeowners make

And More!!!

 

Click the image Below to download your free e-book.

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Download the FREE eBook

The Ultimate Buyer's Guide for Fiberglass Pools

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Everything you need to know when buying a fiberglass pool. From the best time of year to buy and picking a contractor, to pricing, options, and add-ons!

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