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On hotel pools

I love swimming and it’s something that you can often do while traveling. A good 20 or 30 minute swimming session can be great to keep fresh and in shape on a long 1 or 2 week trip.

I have figured out that there are 5 categories of hotel pools and different strategies depending on where you are.

1- No pool. There are still a lot of hotels that don’t have any pools. Despite some pretty big bathtubs swimming in there is not recommended! In this case your best bet is to find a local public pool. I have found that most cities have pools that are often quite close and being public they are usually cheap as the service all income bands. Some are quite old but usually they are full 25 meter pools which is good.

2- The outdoor pool. Some of these are quite nice but usually during the day kids rule and at night it can be dark and cold. Also not great when you have to visit say Oslo or Edmonton! And if it’s raining, or even too hot and sunny rarely works out as well as you would think!

3- The glorified bathtub. These are often found at Marriotts, Holiday Inn express and their type. Just big enough to push off, 6 pulls then you hit the wall. Not recommended but in a pinch may be fun for about 10 minutes. Bloody knuckles are a risk!

4- The 1/2 pool. The pool that I use near work at the Brookstreet hotel in Ottawa is of this type. There are usually between 7 and 12 meters long. They work if you like intervals but there is still a lot or arriving and pushing off walls. Still it can be a good workout and will improve your swimming.

5- The full pool. Ahhh..this is what we want. They are few and far between but if you get to a hotel with one use it to work on longer swims. The hotel I am at this week, the Intercontinental in Dusseldorf Germany has an awesome full 25 meter pool (or thereabouts, seems a bit short) so planning both a longer morning and night swim (pool is open until 11pm…nice). With pools like this you can leave the hotel feeling better and fitter then when you checked in!

So get out there and swim!

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