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Swimming Pools – Places for Exercise or for Leisure Activities?

Swimming is considered to be a very pleasing and effective exercise that apart from providing relaxation, also tones up the whole body. It is popular world-wide and is also considered to be one of the oldest pastimes, dating back to 2500 B.C. Evidence of swimming have been found in ancient Egypt, Greece, Assyria, Rome and other ancient cultures including Phoenicia and Babylonia. There is evidence of competitive swimming in Japan dating back at least 2000 years ago.

However, the Romans take the credit for building the first swimming pool in the world. A wealthy Roman Lord named Gaius Maecenas was responsible for building the first heated swimming pool in the first century B.C. The Twin Pools built in the 4th century B.C. in Sri Lanka feature a sophisticated filter system that cleans the water and recycles it to nearby rice fields. With the passage of time, swimming pools also started getting modernised and the swimming pools that we see nowadays started making their appearance in Europe in the 19th century. Swim clubs were established and a number of indoor pools with diving boards were located in London. However, widespread interest in swimming pools developed only after the swimming events in the 1896 Olympics.

The popularity of backyard swimming pools in homes in the United States got a boost only after World War II especially after the film “Million Dollar Mermaid” featuring the famous actress Esther Williams. Private home pools started to be considered as status symbols. Nowadays, private pools at many homes are meant for pleasure only and not for swimming or for physical exercise. It provides a unique environment for relaxation after a hectic day at work where you can share a lazy evening alone or with friends or where you can host a fun and casual gathering. However, many homeowners use it for exercise also as swimming is a great way to work multiple muscle groups at the same time and it is also much more enjoyable than other workouts like walking on a treadmill at the gym. People also indulge in water aerobics to burn their calories and build their muscles. Home swimming pools should however be kept clean so that the pool water stays safe and healthy. It is essential to maintain the right pH balance and addition of chlorine helps in lessening the burden on the pool filter. It is also necessary to monitor the calcium levels and maintain the acidic-alkaline balance. Nowadays, automatic pool cleaners are available that can sanitise the pool easily and without much effort by the pool owner.

Only the top-end London home owners can afford to have private home pools as property prices are very high. However, there is a plethora of public swimming pools in the city out of which many have private membership and others are open to the public. In your agenda for things to do in Inverness Terrace, you must include having a swim at one of the nearby swimming pools. Moreover, while doing your sightseeing, particularly if you are planning to visit a theatre at the West End, you will find plenty of restaurants west end London where you can have a delectable meal before or after the show.

London offers some great swimming pools ranging from marble clad baths reminding you of the historic Roman baths to the most modern leisure centres. Swimming pools are available in all areas of London whether you go to central London or you go east, west, north or south of the city. In central London, the most important and famous swimming pools include Ironmonger Row Baths, Central YMCA, Serpentine Lido, Oasis Sports Centre, Golden Lane Leisure Centre and many more. Central London is also home to a large number of hotels of different categories. However, swimming pools are mostly available in luxury hotels such as the Montcalm hotels and the hotels of the Shaftesbury Group. The other pools in central London include Fitness First London – Tottenham Court Road, London Bridge Cottons and many others.

In North London, the famous swimming pools include the underground swimming pool in the shadow of the Alexandra Palace, the former British Rail Laboratory, Highbury Pool and Leisure Centre, Southgate Leisure Centre, Finchley Lido Leisure Centre, Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre, Hampstead Heath Swimming Pools, Parliament Hill Lido and many more.

In South London, the available swimming pools include Charlton Lido, Peckham Pulse Leisure Centre, Balham Swimming Pool, Tooting Bec Lido, Camberwell Leisure Centre, Brockwell Lido, and many others.

In East London, the famous swimming pools include York Hall Leisure Centre, Spa London, London Fields Lido, Ironmonger Row Baths, Canary Riverside, and others. In West London, you can find the Hampton Pool, Pools on the Park Richmond, Hillingdon Outdoor Pool, The Porchester Spa and many others.

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