The newly-rich add swimming pools to home fitness menu
Posted Thursday, July 12 2012 at 14:22
Many families are now choosing to live with designer-made pools in their backyards, either to swim in or just to look at.
The breeze brushes lightly over the water surface, leaving a soft cascade of ripples and creating a sight that one would love to freeze in time just for its visual richness or the soothing texture.
In this pristine water, Sharon Musi takes a plunge into the pool at the crack of dawn every morning for her routine laps across the length of the pool.
Swimming has been her hobby for nearly two decades and this is what inspired her to spend millions of shillings on the private swimming pool.
The glistening water can be seen from the balcony of her house, with intricate tiling designs that spell out her initials.
“I enjoy being able to wake up and take a morning dip or to come home in the evening for a cooling off plunge. And it saves me the trouble of going to the gym to keep fit,” she says.
The 10 metre by five metre rectangular pool offers Sharon the daily two-hour workout she estimates has saved her thousands of shillings she would have spent to exercise in a gym.
Sharon is not alone in pumping millions of shillings in a pool. She is but one among the many who own the small water masses for their functionality or for the beauty they add to the landscape.
Swimming pool expert Julius Njenga says pools have become more popular as Kenya’s middle class expands and people become more conscious of their environment.
“People are not building pools to swim in but merely to add ambiance to their environments,” he says.
Sharon’s is a freeboard pool, which means that the water level stands at between four and six inches from the top.
Deck level pools are on the other hand right at the edge, often overflowing with any slight displacement of the water. Horizon and infinity pools are part freeboard and part deck level giving an illusion of endless water.
Njenga says such pools are usually tilted to have the water level below the edge on one side and flowing over on the other. If at the edge of a high ground, they give the illusion that the water is flowing over.
Experts say this type of pools are highly recommended near the ocean where it leaves the impression of water flowing right into the ocean.
Filled with water
Mazeras, natural stone, concrete and tiles are some of the materials used to finish a pool. The most common finish for domestic pools are tiles or concrete.