5 Swimming Myths Debunked

Is swimming good for you? Can you swim after you eat? There are a number of common myths about swimming that may keep you from diving in. But this is a mistake. Swimming is a great exercise and is also a great way to relax. Take a look at these five common swimming and pool myths and the reasons you can ignore them and jump right in.

Swimming Myths Debunked

MYTH #1:Maintenance is too hard

It does take some effort to maintain a pool, but It does not have to be hard. With regular maintenance and small tasks, you can avoid larger, time-consuming messes to clean. By cleaning and balancing the pool weekly, it never gets the chance to become a time-consuming mess. Each week plan to do the following 2-3 hours of work:

  • Skim the surface at least twice a week
  • Brush and vacuum at least once a week
  • Test and balance chemicals at least twice a week

MYTH #2: Wait an hour after eating before diving in

Most people are familiar with the wisdom that you cannot swim within an hour of eating. The ideal is that your body needs time to digest the food. Science says this swimming myth is not the case. Your body is smart and as you start a physical activity, digestion is postponed. Drinking alcohol, however, has a different story. Close to 70% of water-related deaths were alcohol-related. So feel free to swim after eating, but stay on the dry ground if you’re not sober.

MYTH #3: A clear pool is a clean pool

Clearwater indicates that you have a healthy pool, but does not necessarily mean it’s clean. You may see a glassy surface, but on a microscopic level, there can be a lot going on. A seemingly clean pool could have water that’s way out of balance which leads to contaminants. Regular testing is essential each week so that you can always be aware of exactly what is going on below the surface.

MYTH #4: Swimming is not as good a workout as running

Water workouts are low impact but this doesn’t mean they are not beneficial. In fact, you can burn more calories with swimming than you can with jogging. As a low-impact exercise, more people can swim and do aqua-aerobics. Swimming is one of the best whole-body exercises around.

MYTH #5:Chlorine is dangerous

The first thing to understand is that there is chlorine in your tap water. In tiny amounts, it is a helpful chemical and can sanitize your water, but moderation is everything. Most tap water contains chlorine levels between 2 and 4 parts per million and these are proven to be safe for human consumption.

MYTH #6: You Can’t Swim if You Have Asthma

Many people with asthma believe that swimming is off-limits due to concerns about breathing difficulties and exposure to chlorine. However, swimming can actually be beneficial for individuals with asthma. The warm, moist air around the pool can help open up airways and improve lung function. Additionally, the low-impact nature of swimming makes it an excellent cardiovascular exercise for individuals with respiratory conditions. With proper precautions, such as using an inhaler before swimming and choosing well-ventilated pools, individuals with asthma can safely enjoy the many benefits of swimming.

MYTH #7: Swimming Makes You More Prone to Ear Infections

Some people avoid swimming due to fears of developing painful ear infections. While it’s true that water exposure can contribute to ear infections, proper ear care can greatly reduce this risk. Wearing swim caps or ear plugs can help keep water out of the ears, while drying the ears thoroughly after swimming can prevent moisture buildup. Additionally, using over-the-counter ear drops containing alcohol or vinegar can help prevent bacterial growth. With these precautions in place, swimming can be a safe and enjoyable activity without increasing the risk of ear infections.

MYTH #8: Swimming Causes Muscle Cramps

Many people avoid swimming due to the fear of experiencing muscle cramps while in the water. However, contrary to popular belief, swimming itself does not cause muscle cramps. In fact, swimming is considered a low-impact exercise that can help prevent muscle cramps by promoting flexibility and muscle relaxation. Cramps are more commonly associated with dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, or overexertion, rather than the act of swimming itself. Staying hydrated, warming up properly before swimming, and maintaining proper nutrition can help prevent cramps and ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

MYTH #9: Chlorine Turns Hair Green

One of the most enduring myths about swimming is that exposure to chlorine causes hair to turn green. While swimmers may occasionally notice a greenish tint to their hair, it’s not actually caused by chlorine. Instead, it’s the result of copper compounds in the water binding to the proteins in hair strands. This phenomenon is more common in pools with higher copper levels, such as those using well water or copper-based algaecides. Fortunately, regular shampooing and the use of specialized clarifying shampoos can help remove the green tint and keep hair looking healthy and vibrant.


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