Dive into a new healthy lifestyle with fitness and fun at Dundee’s swimming pools

With many people trying to get into shape this month, we’re taking a look at the facilities offered by Leisure and Culture Dundee and how they can help you make a positive change to your health.

In the second part of her weekly diary, Tele reporter Amy Hall dives into a swimming session at Olympia.

I have heard many times that swimming is a great way to get fit.

However, a recurring theme in my relationship with exercise is that I’ve never been that interested.

Of course I have been swimming lots in the past, but usually to have a splash about or a soak in the pool on holiday, not to swim lengths.

The Olympia boasts an impressive Olympic-size 50 metre swimming pool, which holds a massive 403,260 gallons of water.

It is often split into a smaller 25m training pool, activities pool and diving area.

After getting changed into one of my only swimming costumes that still fits, I headed to the training pool to test out the swimming techniques I learned in my younger days.

I decided to ease myself in with a couple of lengths of breast stroke.

After a while I decided to up my game to front crawl to try and take my fitness test up a notch. I quickly realised those promises of a fantastic workout were correct.

The seasoned swimmers in the lanes beside me seemed to glide through the water with ease and precision.

On the other hand, you could tell I was much more of an amateur with arms flailing and a lot more water inhaled than I would like to admit.

I know I’m not a professional swimmer, but I was surprised at how quickly fatigue set in. However, I was adamant I was going to push myself, so I continued for a few more lengths.

As much as I maybe didn’t look like the best athlete, I really enjoyed pushing myself and could definitely see myself taking to the water more often.

While swimming my lengths, the child in me couldn’t help but notice the multi-coloured flumes intertwining in the space above my head.

I decided after completing my lengths that I was definitely due a bit of a fun break, so I scrambled out of the training pool and headed up the stairs to the flumes, which was a workout in itself.

With four flumes, the youngsters in the family or just those young at heart have choices to make before the off.

The first flume is suitably named The Cannonball. The yellow flume, unlike the others, doesn’t take you gently down to ground level — it throws you out mid-air, 3.8 meters above the diving pool.

I decided against the idea as, although I’m a strong swimmer, I’m a bit of a wimp.

My first choice was the blue flume, but alarm bells should have started ringing when I had to lie down with arms crossed for the trip down.

As soon as I set off, I zoomed down the slide at an impressive rate — much faster than I was expecting. Flying out the end in what can only be described as an unflattering manner, I instantly felt like a 12-year-old kid again.

The flume records your time and I managed to speed down the slide in just under 12 seconds —and with the record being just 10, I was secretly impressed with my effort.

I then decided to scale the stairs once more and try the red flume. This had an even more exciting twist by allowing you to pick out your own lighting theme to enjoy on the way down.

I chose the disco option and down I went. This flume was a much more easy-going affair, allowing me to sit up for what was a gentler journey down. The light effects were amazing — with a dark section even having star lights above.

The pool also caters for toddlers and babies, with a small, shallow pool allowing for lots of splashing around. The toddler pool incorporates an enclosed slide, tipping bucket and sprays.

Overall, I had heaps of fun at Olympia. The centre — along with Dundee’s other swimming pools, offers lots of activities and lessons to keep the whole family fit, as well as entertained.

 

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