I don't really go swimming instead of gym due to bad ankles but can't in winter so I just got a Wii Fit Plus set and doing the yoga, hula hoop & boxing exercises has helped me feel better...even the gentle workout really helps put me in a better mood.
Gyms are a huge waste of money since you can get yourself into great shape at home. I recommend you take a look at Mark Laurent's You are your own gym. There are some yoga inspired exercises and some old favorites, but I think anyone could benefit. Strength training is important for women because it helps prevent bone density loss.I thought swimming was a low impact workout so I'm not sure why your ankles would be a problem.
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