A swimming pool can offer year-round exercise for people of all ages, without sweating or leaving home.
Swimming uses every muscle in your body and generates a host of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance.
Swimming for fitness promotes weight loss, improved flexibility and better lung capacity, along with reducing stress and leaving you with the feeling of well-being that comes from regular exercise.
One of Australia’s most popular recreational activities, swimming is suitable for people of all ages and abilities and can be continued for life.
It can keep your heart-rate up but is also one of the best forms of low-impact exercise, which means it can be ideal for people recovering from injuries or illness. And if you have arthritis, a pool is a great place to gently work sore joints or stiff muscles.
Asthma sufferers are often advised to take up swimming to strengthen their lungs; indeed, some of Australia’s best-known swimmers, including Dawn Fraser, Samantha Riley, Susie Moroney, Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett, had asthma.
As you use your whole body to push against the resistance of the water, you can try different strokes to work your muscles differently.
But you don’t have to just swim laps to keep fit. You can do aqua aerobics, water games, water yoga or deep water running (simulating running at a depth where your feet can’t touch the bottom of the pool).
You can use the side of the pool to support you or provide resistance while you do some movements, or you can use a resistance tether. You can also buy balls, weight cuffs, hand-held weights, kickboards and other equipment to help you add variety to your workouts. There are even aqua boxing gloves!
So in addition to being a relaxing refuge from the heat in summer, your pool could open up a whole new world of fitness. And if your pool is heated you can keep up your routine all year.