A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, paddling pool, or simply pool, is a structure designed to hold water to enable swimming or other leisure activities. Pools can be built into the ground (in-ground pools) or built above ground (as a freestanding construction or as part of a building or other larger structure), and may be found as a feature aboard ocean-liners and cruise ships. In-ground pools are most commonly constructed from materials such as concrete, natural stone, metal, plastic, or fiberglass, and can be of a custom size and shape or built to a standardized size, the largest of which is the Olympic-size swimming pool. Many health clubs, fitness centers, and private clubs have pools used mostly for exercise or recreation. It is common for municipalities of every size to provide pools for public use. Many of these municipal pools are outdoor pools but indoor pools can also be found in buildings such as leisure centers. Hotels may have pools available for their guests to use at their own leisure. Pools as a feature in hotels are more common in tourist areas or near convention centers. Educational facilities such as high schools and universities sometimes have pools for physical education classes, recreational activities, leisure, and competitive athletics such as swimming teams. Hot tubs and spas are pools filled with water that is heated and then used for relaxation or hydrotherapy. Specially designed swimming pools are also used for diving, water sports, and physical therapy, as well as for the training of lifeguards and astronauts. Swimming pools most commonly use chlorinated water or salt water and may be heated or unheated.
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