Tag Archives: swimming

John Ellsworth
Splash Pools

In September, the Florida Swimming Pool Association hosted the 40th annual Industry High School Invitational Swim Meet. Our industry built the pools where thousands of high school swimmers learned to swim. When they decided to swim competitively, they practiced and competed in swimming pools that were built and maintained by members of our industry.

Competitive swimming and recreational swimming for exercise and fitness is often is, a lifelong activity. Children often begin with developmental coaches at 5-6 years old. They can continue with team swimming from ages 8-18.  After high school and college swimming, many will continue with a Masters Swim Club. There are currently 66 registered Masters Swim Clubs in Florida, with swimmers from 25 – 95 years old.

My high school and summer swim coach, Yoshi Oyakawa, who is now in his 80s, still competes in an Ohio Master Swimming Club. Coach Oyakawa was a gold medalist in the backstroke and a 1973 inductee into the Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale.

Competitive swimming has long been known as an organized sport with the least amount of injuries. It is low impact and provides unparalleled cardiovascular conditioning. Swimming offers something no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to work your body without harsh impact to your skeletal system. When immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50 percent of its weight. When immersed to the chest the number is reduced to 25 percent. With the water all the way to your neck, you only have to bear 10 percent of your own weight. The other 90 percent of your body’s weight is handled by the pool. This means the pool provides an ideal place to work stiff muscles and sore joints, especially if you’re overweight or suffer from arthritis. Swimming can provide a full-body workout. Unlike some forms of weight training, which target certain muscle groups, swimming can challenge your entire body no matter what stroke you are swimming. Thirty minutes of activity in a pool is worth 45 minutes of the same activity on land.

PsychCentral.com states that swimming is not only good for your body, but also your mind. Several medical sources claim that swimming is one of the exercises that “stimulates brain chemicals that foster the growth of nerve cells,” as well as positively influencing serotonin, a mood related neuro transmitter. Swimming 3,000 meters can pull a person out of a “depressive cycle” for short periods of time more effectively than running. Swimming is also effective for quieting anxiety and prompting general de-stressing. In addition, swimming requires the alternating stretch and relaxation of the body’s skeletal muscles.

Through our FSPA industry-sponsored swim meet, we have the opportunity to inform and educate the swimmers, coaches, and parents about the licensed pool contractors, pool service providers, retailers, distributors, and pool industry manufacturers who are in business throughout Florida. Many of the swimmers who compete will be the future buyers of our products and services. Thanks to all those who were able to be a part of this annual event and I hope you will consider helping out as a volunteer next year.

Swimming is viewed as a fun activity, a competitive sport, and a form of exercise. We know why it’s a fun activity and the training that goes with competitive swimming. But what are the benefits of swimming for exercise?

Most people know that swimming is a great cardiovascular workout. It’s harder to move through water than through air. The resistance makes your workout harder, resulting in more calories burned. Swimming.org has a calorie burn calculator that calculates the number of calories burned based on the swimming stroke you used and the length of the workout. Dr. David Tanner, a professor at in the Kinesiology Department at Indiana University, says, “one mile of swimming burns 400 calories, on average. One mile of swimming is equivalent to four miles of running.” (This can be dependent on level of expertise.)

Swimming is low-impact exercise. Because of the buoyancy of the water you only bear about 10% of your weight when you swim. Swimming is a favorable exercise for people who suffer from arthritis and other conditions related to joint pain for this reason.

Swimming also reduces risk of diseases. Swimming controls blood sugar levels, lowers blood pressure, and reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.

If you’re looking for a way to revamp your current workout regime or even looking to start one, swimming is an excellent place to start.


The first step to being safe around water is learning to swim! Swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88%. Below are several organizations that offer swimming lessons. Click each organization to find out about lessons near you.

YMCA – Learn about water safety and find a YMCA near you for swim lessons.

Red Cross – Learn about Red Cross swimming lessons. On the right hand side of the screen click on “local Red Cross chapter” to find lessons near you!

ISR – Infant Swimming Resource. Learn how this method teaches young children self-rescue skills and then enter your ZIP code to find certified instructors near you!

United States Swim School Association – An association of
quality schools devoted to aquatic education for lifelong safety, fun and health. Enter your zip code to find a swim school in your area.

Swim America – The nation’s leading learn to swim school. Click on the “General Public” link and under the FAQs you can search for a location near you.

Swim with Gills – A traveling swim school in Hobe Sound. Lifeguard and other services also available

Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc.  – Miracle Swimming teaches that learning to swim means to overcome fear and become safe, comfortable, and free in deep water; that learning strokes is the choreography of swimming that can happen easily after someone feels at home in deep water.

* The Florida Swimming Pool Association does not endorse any of these organizations. Other public pools and organizations in your area may also offer swimming lessons.

Visit the Swimming Pool Education and Safety Foundation at www.pooleducationandsafety.org to donate money for pool safety and swim lessons.

With so many great and cute pool toys out there, you just have to have them all. But where are you going to put them?

Where does functionality meet fashion? Pinterest, of course! FSPA is on Pinterest with boards of past design award winners (major inspiration) and other pool-related pins. Follow us!

On Pinterest there are organization products you can buy, such as rolling bins or containers. There are even pins for DIY organizers! Pallets and PVC pipes are popular materials used to make your own organizer. See for yourself on Pinterest and stay organized this pool season!

What are some of your favorite ways to organize your pool toys?


There is no pretty way to say “pee in the pool.” But the topic isn’t that pretty to begin with. The National Swimming Pool Foundation recently published an article with their recommendations on reducing urine in the pool.

Before we even get in the pool, encourage everyone to use the bathroom. Being submerged in the water actually stimulates the body to create more urine.

Everyone at the pool plays a role in prevention:

Swim Coaches: require a bathroom break 30-60 minutes into the practice.

Parents: schedule an “out of pool” time for a snack, sunscreen, and bathroom break every 30-60 minutes.

Facility Managers: schedule short breaks to encourage people to exit the water. (example: 10-minute “adult only” swim time). Also post signage that suggests showering and using the bathroom before getting into the pool.

Swimming has so many health benefits on top of being a fun activity. So let’s keep it healthy and take the “pee” out of pool.