For centuries Icelanders have been aware of the medicinal benefits of hot-spring water. People with ill-health, or who have suffered an accident, recover their health by going to pools regularly. It has long been proved that swimming and hot pots have very positive effects on senior citizens. Hot pots are small pools. All of the City’s swimming facilities have several hot pots, each kept at a different temperature, from 37°C & 42°C, equivalent to 98°F - 111°F.
Reykjavík has had the water tested by some of the world's best experts at home and abroad, including staff at Germany's Institut Freesenius. A unique aspect of Reykjavík's swimming pools when compared with Europe is that most are outdoors. Many undoubtedly shiver at the mere thought of bathing outside surrounded by frost and snow, but research has shown that there are various benefits associated with this. It is healthier for heart and asthma patients to be outside in hot water breathing fresh air than to breathe the warm, humid air of indoor swimming facilities.
It also appears that the combination of hot water and cold air has a very positive effect on the human body. It should be pointed out that no one gets cold in the pools as they are kept at an average temperature of 29°C (84°F). Swimming at Reykjavík's pools is indeed a unique experience that increases well being and improves overall health.