Certain apartment buildings come with extra amenities like gyms or swimming pools. These facilities are great for several reasons. For starters, you get some convenient options for staying active. On top of that, they give you a chance to interact with your fellow tenants and make new friends. Plus, you’ll find your community swimming pool to be a huge blessing during the sweltering summer months — or all year round, if you live in an area where it’s always warm.
There’s definitely nothing better than being able to dive into a cool, refreshing pool on a hot day and practice your backstroke — or simply lounging poolside with your headphones on and soaking up the sun’s rays. Still, your pool will probably have a few clear rules to follow as outlined by the property manager. Besides that, there are some things you may want to be aware of for the sake of common courtesy.
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know to make the best of your apartment building’s swimming pool.
Get Ready for the Kids
The summer months usually coincide with schools letting out, which means you can expect to share your communal pool with small children all throughout that time of year. If you’re looking to roll out the towel and lay back on your beach chair or just want to swim some laps in peace, this might not be the best place for you. Of course, most minors can’t visit the pool unaccompanied, so they’ll at least be under adult supervision the whole time. For that reason, getting an idea of most of the other adults’ schedules can help you determine the best times to go.
If you know that most parents in your building get off work in the late afternoon or early evening, consider taking a dip during the late evening, when they’ll likely be sitting their families down to eat dinner. Remember, the kids have as much of a right as you do to have fun in the pool (provided they aren’t breaking any rules). Another thing to bear in mind is adult swim, which the overwhelming majority of community pools have in some shape or form. Find out what the designated adult swim hours are from the lifeguard or someone in the building. That way, you’ll have ample space to swim and an opportunity to build a good rapport with your neighbors and their kids.
Another thing we’d be remiss not to mention is the subject of swim attire. It may not be explicitly stated in your pool’s rules, but remember to change out of street clothes and into a proper swimsuit before every swim. Baggy t-shirts just weigh you down in the water, and if an article of clothing has buttons or any other appliqués on it, they can easily fall off and get caught in the pool filters, or even worse, present choking hazards to little kids. Besides, it’s just good etiquette.
If you swim regularly, you might think you have all your bases covered in terms of pool safety. But do you know whether or not you should apply sunscreen generously before and after getting into the pool? As it turns out, sunburns are extremely preventable when you remember to put on sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 35 — the higher, the better. Plus, a pool umbrella unfortunately can’t filter out all of the harmful UV radiation from the sun, so make sure never to skip this crucial step unless your apartment pool is indoors.
A second safety tip: always wear flip-flops or sandals that are of a sturdy material with a good tread on the bottom, if possible. It’s the best thing you can do to minimize your risk of slipping and falling on a slick surface. Flip-flops made of simple foam can be dangerous, particularly if the flooring around the pool is made of tile or smooth cement. And though it may seem intuitive, taking care not to run or walk too quickly around the pool area will further ensure that you don’t injure yourself.
Take Drinks, But Be Responsible
Swimming is a great way to work out, but like any physical activity, it can quickly deplete your energy. Taking sips of water or Gatorade every so often will help your body stay hydrated, but you should still make an effort to note the rules concerning food and beverages in your apartment building’s pool area. Each pool is different in this regard, but most allow you to at least bring a drink with you. However, glass drink containers should never be anywhere near a pool. Bottled water, or a thermos made of plastic or metal, is a far better (and safer) bet.
Get In Shape
Swimming remains an extremely popular and effective exercise because it’s a low-impact activity that still provides just enough resistance to aid in building strength while burning calories. So why not make the most out of your swim time by downloading a fitness app on your phone? Today, there are literally thousands of apps available to help you track your progress and meet your health goals, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that can be tailored to your individual exercise routine.
Whatever you’re hoping to get out of your apartment building’s swimming pool, you’ll rest easier knowing its possible to have a great time while staying safe and getting along with your fellow swimmers.