Get Inspired: How to get into Swimming

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 7:00am
Last updated
2 weeks ago
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Swimming Pools make for many great activities

Swimming is as much a recreational activity as it is an elite sport. Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK use swimming as a way to keep fit, relax and have fun.

It is excellent exercise, using every muscle group as well as boosting both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness - depending on how fast you swim!

And with more than 1,500 swimming clubs in the UK, there are no excuses not to jump in at the deep end.


One of the nation's most popular activities, swimming really is for anyone and everyone.

From having a romp on the inflatables on a Thursday afternoon to competing in the Olympics, it's hard not to love a dip in the pool. Done at your own pace, with a number of different strokes to try out, you can enjoy a swim all year round.

Swimming lessons

Learning to swim is an important life skill and a great way to keep active.

Although you might think swimming lessons are for children, thousands of adults each year are taking the plunge and learning to swim at adult-only swimming classes.

Competitive racing

Do you have what it takes to take swimming to the next level?

The world of competitive swimming is challenging and it requires ambition and determination with most swimmers training five to six times a week.

The best way to get into competitive swimming is by joining a local swimming club from there you could progress to the regional and national events. There are competitions for all age groups, including the Masters' competitions where the oldest age bracket is 100-104!

Bored of doing lengths?

  • Everyone's tried doing a handstand underwater at some stage. Synchronised swimming is an Olympic sport, and could be a fun activity to try out with friends.
  • Tired of boundaries? Well, take to the open water! Both a challenging elite sport and a fun alternative to swimming pool safety, open water swimming can be great - just make sure you're supervised!
  • Don't like having your head under water? Aqua fitness is the activity for you. It's suitable for all ages and abilities, so wherever you are in the UK, find your local class.
  • Water-spin classes combine the exhilaration of traditional studio spinning and the benefits of water-based fitness classes, to give you an excellent cardiovascular workout.
  • Looking for something competitive why not try Octopush, the underwater aerobic hockey game where players breathe through their snorkels before diving down to do battle with their opponents.

Water polo, photo by Getty

Water Polo

Exciting to watch and a lot of fun to play, this dynamic game requires three basic skills: swimming, treading water and passing.

It's easy to get involved at your local pool, and if you're good enough you could one day be competing in the Olympics.

Women-only swimming

Women-only swimming sessions are all about getting in the pool and enjoying yourself in a relaxed atmosphere.

Whatever your age, shape, religious beliefs or swimming ability, there's no need to ever feel self-conscious as everyone is there for the same reason - to have fun and get active.

Contact your local pool to find out when their next women-only session is, and bring some friends along to make it a real social occasion.


Swimming is one of the most popular choices of activity for disabled adults and children.

The sensory nature of water can be beneficial to those with emotional or behavioral disorders, and learning to swim is a great way to socialize and make new friends. Contact your local pool to learn about para-swim sessions.

Volunteering & coaching

Whether you have swum in the past or just have a keen interest in developing talent, information about coaching opportunities is available through each nation's swimming organization.

At Playground Professionals, we scour the internet looking for today's play news and views to share with you, bringing them all together in one place.

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