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Come on in, the water’s fine!

Did you know that swimming can help you to maintain a healthy heart and lungs? Or that it can actually improve your mental well-being by providing space to relax and switch off? Indeed, according to Bupa, swimming can reduce anxiety and stress, release endorphins in your body (the natural feel-good hormones) and increase blood flow to the brain, boosting brain health.

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It’s also one of the safest sports you can do. Despite being hugely effective in terms of building muscle and aiding weight loss it’s also low impact and as such injuries are very rare. And if you’re already a sporty type, going swimming can help you to improve in other sports too. What’s more, swimming is a great way to get all the family together to have some active fun!

The thing is you probably do know all this. If you were to conduct a poll of why people don’t go swimming, you’re unlikely to get responses like “It’s not very healthy” or “It’s not much fun”. No, the reasons people are put off going to their local pools are usually centred around things like convenience, privacy and access.

A recent survey of over 3,000 people by Sefton Council revealed as much. The survey, which aimed to figure out how the borough could improve swimming facilities for locals, found some of the reasons people don’t currently go swimming include a lack of private facilities (leading to the dreaded ‘getting your costume on under your towel’ challenge!), access issues for disabled users or parents and a shortage of bespoke swimming sessions, such as adults only sessions or swimming lessons.

But far from just finding out what’s stopping people from making a splash, Sefton Council wanted to actually put those concerns right so that everyone in the borough can enjoy the benefits of swimming. And thanks to funding from Sport England it has been able to do just that.

Three pools in the borough – Meadows, Bootle Leisure Centre and Dunes, Southport – will share £531,000 to make a number of changes and improvements. These will include changing room refurbishments, new poolside equipment, audio and lighting systems, improved cleanliness and a review of the timetables with new sessions aimed at specific types of swimmers.

To find out more about the sessions on offer visit: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/swimsessions and to get unlimited swims for just £19 a month you can join the council’s new swim membership scheme.

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