Swimming Pools – Good For Your Health?

There is no denying that swimming is a great way to get fit and healthy. However, you do need to be careful. You need to choose a swimming bath with care. While this is a healthy activity, it can quickly become an unhealthy one if you choose to go swimming at a center that is unhygienic.

With that being said, in this blog post, we are going to reveal how you can make sure that swimming is actually going to be good for your health. 

There are a lot of benefits that are associated with swimming. It is a great all-round activity because it tones muscles and builds strength. It will also help you to maintain a healthy heart and lungs, as well as a healthy weight. Plus, swimming builds cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and endurance. 

However, in order to ensure that swimming is genuinely healthy, you need to choose a swimming bath with care. Of course, hygiene is the perfect place to start.

There are a lot of rumors about swimming pools, including that STDs can be contracted through the water. They can’t unless you’re having sex in it, of course! In which case, you probably will want to look into a same day test.

Nevertheless, just because you cannot contract STDs does not mean that you cannot catch other illnesses and diseases. Take the time to read reviews online to ensure that the swimming place is a clean one. You should also make sure that they adhere to the stringent health and safety standards that are in place. 

For those of us who just go swimming now and again at our local swimming bath, water temperature is not something we tend to give a lot of consideration too unless the water is far too cold and we need to make a kick exit from the pool!

However, it is important to know about how your body reacts to different water temperatures so that you know how your workout is impacted, as the temperature can impact performance and duration, and so you can also avoid any potentially dangerous conditions. 

Let’s begin by taking a look at the effects of swimming in water. If you swim in water that is too hot, i.e. over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you will find that your body overheats and you will suffer from exhaustion, this is especially the case if you are exercising heavily by swimming a considerable number of laps.

Swimming in water that is too hot can have other negative effects. It can lead to dehydration, which as a consequence can have an adverse impact on muscle mobility. This occurs because your body temperature will increase when you swim in warm water, this, in turn, increases your sweat rate and quickens dehydration.

Your sweat rate increases because your body is trying to cool itself down, yet profuse sweating can cause your electrolytes to be imbalanced and this can have a bad impact on muscle mobility.

You can also suffer from severe fatigue and muscle spasms if you are swimming in an open-water pool in an area whereby the temperatures are extremely hot. There are instances when exposure to warm water can be appropriate and beneficial, nevertheless, this only relates to activities that only occur for a short period of time and are supervised, with a prime example being Aquatic Therapy. 

Now you have a good idea of what will happen if your body is exposed to water that is too warm while swimming, but what about water that is too cold? You should never swim in water that is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit without a wetsuit as this can cause cold shock or shivering.

Symptoms vary extensively; it all depends on your body’s ability to handle cold temperatures. However, in some cases, swimming in cold water can cause hypothermia, which is a dangerously low body temperature, with severe cases resulting in dilated pupils, a weak, irregular pulse, or no pulse, shallow or no breathing, and even unconsciousness.

This occurs when the body reaches a temperature below 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Normal body temperature is around 97 degrees Fahrenheit. But, why does hypothermia occur? This arises because your blood vessels widen when you get into cold water in order to allow warm blood to raise your body’s temperature.

However, in order to maintain your core body temperature and stop organs from shutting down, your body will start to close these blood vessels. But, your body cannot stop the blood flow for long, and so your blood vessels open again, and this enhances the danger of cold blood flowing to your organs, which in turn can cause hypothermia. 

When comparing cold and hot water, the former is actually safer because the body has the ability to adjust to cold water better than warm water. This is not to say that you should jump in a pool that is 60 degrees Fahrenheit, however, if the pool is slightly cold it is better than a pool that is slightly warm.

Although, there are a lot of swimmers that prefer the latter, and this is because they feel their performance improves by swimming in warm water, and this is because it increases their metabolism and speed.

On the flip side, cooler water can help you to swim for a longer period of time without running the risk of any heat-related exhaustion.

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Misha Casey

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