Swimming is a technique for floating and moving through the water. Swimming is a great sport for anyone to either get in shape, learn how to save lives, even rehabilitation for those having trouble moving on land (there is less stress on the injured limb or joint, with bodyweight supported by flotation in water). Without swimming you cannot enjoy other water sports and safe boating. Swimming has provided several competitive events in the modern Olympic Games.
Swimming only requires a swim suit (usually), and a towel for drying off. When choosing a new bathing suit, you should make sure it fits snugly and comfortably to ensure a good fit in the pool. If the chlorine is bothering your eyes, invest in a pair of swimming goggles. Competitive swimmers use several other pieces of equipment to strengthen their strokes: a kickboard, hand paddles, leg buoys, flippers and a dragsuit. Many of these are available for use at local swimming pools.
Swimsuits or goggles are available at almost any sports store. Swimco is legendary as a Calgary-based bathing suit specialty store.
You can swim at indoor or outdoor pools, or in Alberta's lakes and rivers. Be cautious in natural bodies of water and never swim alone or without lifeguard supervision. Be alert for strong currents, cold water temperatures, weeds, and unknown bottom debris.
Many (though not all) of the hotels and motels have their own swimming pools. Banff, Canmore and Jasper all have public indoor swimming pools at community Recreation Centres. For public swimming in a hot springs, there is a pool at the Upper Hot Springs in Banff. Banff also has a waterslide at the Douglas Fir Resort on Tunnel Mountain Road.
Most pools offer lessons for recreational or competitive swimming. Calgary has several swim clubs that can coach you on swimming faster. Contact either the Cascade Swim Club (403-252-8799) or the Calgary Patriots Swim Club (403-290-1886).