Skip to main content

Times of the Islands Magazine

Make a Splash! Adult Swimming Classes Are All About Fitness and Fun

Jul 11, 2022 09:39AM ● By Ann Marie O'Phelan

There’s a good reason why adults are diving into swim classes. “They can learn to swim, work on balance and flexibility, improved overall fitness, and have fun,” says Paul Rapp, Lehigh Acres Community Pool supervisor.  

Lee County Parks and Recreation offers a variety of water-based classes and swim lessons for adults at four of its public pools: Lehigh AcresNorth Fort Myers, and San Carlos, all of which have eight lap lanes; and Pine Island, which has six lap lanes. All of these pools are heated and open year-round. (A fifth pool in Tice is open only in the summer.) 

Aqua aerobics and swim lessons are available at all four of the year-round pools. Balance and flexibility classes are available at Lehigh Acres, North Fort Myers, and San Carlos, and water walking is also available at the San Carlos pool.  

Aqua aerobics is easier on the joints than the land-based variety, and the water provides resistance for strength training. Balance and flexibility classes promote joint and muscle flexibility and strength by using slow and controlled movements to increase the range of motion. Water walking allows participants to get more out of a walk by adding exercises using the water’s natural resistance. (No registration is required for any of these classes.) 

Adult beginner swim lessons help participants gain basic aquatics skills and swimming strokes and learn about water safety. Private swim lessons are available for beginners, intermediates, and advanced swimmers. “Please call your local aquatics facility for more information or to schedule a private lesson,” explains Rapp. Swim instructors are certified through the American Red Cross water safety instructor program. 

The Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Pool is heated and open to the public year-round. Water fitness classes, such as deep-water aerobics and arthritis and fibromyalgia water exercise classes, guided by National Arthritis Foundation certified instructors, are designed to assist individuals with muscle/joint pain, stiffness, or fatigue. These classes offer slow, gentle exercises.  

This Junior Olympics-sized pool schedules specific times for lap swimming. “After exercising, it’s also a perfect place to relax and catch some sun, as they have plenty of lounge chairs,” explains Paula Williams, who enjoys lap swimming in the pool when visiting the area from Ohio. 

The Sanibel Recreation Center has a heated pool with six lap lanes. It is heated and open year-round. The center offers aquatics classes, as well as one-on-one swimming lessons with aquatics manager Steve Vela. The private lessons are based on an initial assessment of the swimmer’s ability and catered to what the student desires, such as learning to swim, overcoming water phobia, or perfecting strokes.  

The Rec Center’s nonimpact deep-water exercise class uses water belts and other water equipment and can help improve flexibility and circulation. It is open to all age groups and ability levels. “According to the American Council on Exercise, water immersion can reduce your weight by as much as 90 percent, meaning that stress on weight-bearing bones, joints, and muscles is reduced,” says programs coordinator Gabrielle Cooper Angeles. Another option is aqua Zumba, featuring pulsating rhythms and easy-to-follow moves. “This provides an enjoyable, calorie-burning fitness experience,” adds Angeles.  

The Fort Myers Beach Community Pool offers water aerobics and aqua strength classes three days a week. Water aerobics provides resistance training and is a good cardiovascular workout. Aqua strength classes assist with speed, strength, and agility. “Not only have the water classes helped me tone, but I lost weight,” says Amy Jones, a seasonal resident. The three-lane lap pool is heated.  


Ann Marie O’Phelan is a Southwest Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media. 


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States and a good way to get regular aerobic physical activity. People report enjoying water-based exercise more than exercising on land. They can also exercise longer in water than on land without increased effort or joint or muscle pain.”  



Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Pool 

5819 Driftwood Parkway, Cape Coral 


Fort Myers Beach Community Pool  

2600 Oak Street, Fort Myers Beach 

Lehigh Acres Community Pool  

1400 W. Fifth Street, Lehigh Acres 

North Fort Myers Community Pool 

5170 Orange Grove Blvd., North Fort Myers  

Pine Island Community Pool  

5675 Sesame Drive, Bokeelia  

San Carlos Community Pool 

8208 Sanibel Blvd., Fort Myers  

Sanibel Recreation Center 

3880 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel