A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, or paddling 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 are also a common 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, such as the YMCA, have pools used mostly for exercise or recreation. Many towns and cities provide public pools. Many hotels have pools available for their guests to use at their leisure. Educational facilities such as universities typically have pools for physical education classes, recreational activities, leisure or competitive athletics such as swimming teams. Hot tubs and spas are pools filled with hot water, used for relaxation or hydrotherapy, and are common in homes, hotels, and health clubs. Special swimming pools are also used for diving, specialized water sports, physical therapy as well as for the training of lifeguards and astronauts. Swimming pools may be heated or unheated.