Swimming pools have been around since the beginning of civilization. Evidence of swimming and bathing pools date back to 9,000 BCE in the “cave of swimmers” in the Egyptian desert. Proof of swimming pools can be found in some of the earliest histories of Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome. Swimming was considered so essential to human life in these regions that Plato the Greek philosopher has stated: “man could not be considered learned if he could not read, write, or swim.” The Greeks may have been the first to establish round shape swimming pools. The Greeks also utilized cold plunge swimming pools for competitive sports and therapeutic reasons. The Romans preferred a more rectangular shape pool with natural spring fed water designs. The Romans also are thought to introduce warm water pools for therapy and relaxation reasons. Being able to swim was so important that Roman author, politician and general Julius Caesar has stated that every soldier must be a swimmer and must be able to pass a rigid swimming test.
Some of the earliest pools used stone, brick, gypsum mortar, bitumen, and/or marble to create water tight pool walls. Many public baths and pools used a combination of natural rivers and lakes and manmade materials to modify bodies of water for swimming, bathing, and therapeutic purposes. In the middle ages floating pools made of wood were popular. Having a floating pool in a river or lake with wooden wall barriers allowed constant natural water circulation, a method used for better water sanitation.
Today swimming pools are more popular than ever, and the many safety regulations, precautionary safety tools, and publicly offered swimming lessons are giving more people a comfortable sense of owning a swimming pool. Today pool sanitation and circulation has become much easier and more efficient, and the technology is becoming more advanced every day. Swimming is not only fun for the family but has been gaining tremendous popularity in competitive sport. Private clubs, high schools, and colleges compete in swimming events all around the nation. Of course, countries from all around the world also swim competitively. In the Olympics, countries are competing for gold, and there is no other Olympic swimmer like our very own American Swimmer Michael Phelps and his current 28 medals. Most of us (if not competing) when swimming are fully engaged in fun but, unrealized are also getting a full body low body impact (therapeutic) workout. Hence the popularity of the pool and the sport!