Taking up any form of swimming is a great way to build cardiovascular fitness and Gymist is here to help you find aquatic activities and swimming pools near you. You don’t just have to count lengths. Wild swimming, competitive swimming, water aerobics and diving are just some of the options you have.

Swimming pools

There are many types of swimming space around the UK. Many gyms will have a swimming pool or even an olympic pool. However, you can also find lidos for some outdoor swimming, diving pools for the thrill seekers and water parks for fun.

Swimming coaches

Swim coaches aren't just for those learning to swim. You can also find coaches who can help with triathlon training, in-water physio or also with advanced swimming techniques.

Swimming activities

Aquatic activities have some of the strongest health benefits of any exercise. In the water, you'll find activities that combine water resistance, motor skills and entertainment.

The benefits of


If you’re reading this, you are already thinking about getting into the water. Swimming as a form of exercise or sport has some solid advantages over other forms. The constant resistance of water means that your movements take more exertion than in air, and the faster you want to move, the more resistance you feel and the harder you have to work. This constant exertion means almost every aquatic activity is higher intensity than in air. There is also the fact that your whole body is challenged to maintain balance and buoyancy while also being supported and not stressing joints. The benefits of this full-body workout and constant resistance are numerous:

  • it’s a low-impact exercise suitable for all age ranges.
  • it’s ideal for rehabilitation for injury and arthritis.
  • it’s high intensity cardiovascular training.
  • it works stabiliser muscles.
  • it improves blood flow throughout your body.
  • it reduces the risk of heart disease and type two diabetes.

Choosing your

Aquatic Activity

If you need some inspiration for your aquatic adventures, start with what you want to achieve. Trying a new activity? Adding to your existing fitness regime? Whatever it is, there is something for you.

Swimming Strokes

Doggy paddle is one of more than twenty strokes you can learn. Build your capability in a range of strokes to build adaptability to a range of situations.


Diving is not just falling with style. If you can master your nerves, diving can be an exhilarating activity. Check out free diving, synchronised diving and high diving.

Outdoor swimming

From lidos to fully wild swimming, getting outdoors for your swim fix isn't as hard as you think. Checkout the Outdoor Swimming Society for tips on getting started.


Swim lessons and instructors aren't just useful for new swimmers. Join a class and learn how to correct a screw kick or do a tumble turn.

Swim clubs

There are more than 100 swimming clubs in the UK and they are a great place to meet fellow swimmers or hone your skills.


Learn the basics of safe swimming or take it to the next level with a lifeguard course. The Royal Life Saving Society UK has all the information you need.
Open water swimmer
water sports

How to help your

Swimming Technique

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Moving through water with speed requires stronger muscles that can overcome the increasing water resistance. Weight lifting out of the pool will help explosive movements in it.

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The constant resistance of water means that you are challenged with a medium cardiovascular workload at all times. Keeping your cardio abilities up will help you perform better in the water.

National associations for


The logo for Swim England

Swim England

Swim England is the national governing body for swimming in England. They help people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in our sports.
Logo of Scottish swimming

Scottish Swimming

Scottish Swimming is the national governing body for swimming, diving, open water, artistic swimming and water polo in Scotland.
Logo for Ulster Swim

Swim Ulster

Founded in 1893, Swim Ulster is recognised as the governing body for aquatic sports in Ulster.
Logo for Swim Wales

Swim Wales

From learning to swim to the elite athletes. Find a swimming, water polo, synchro or diving club in Wales.