Written by: Leemuwel
Some people often ask if is it ok to go swimming with a cold and receives a conflicting answer.
You may say you feel fine to swim even with a cold, but a cold will often give you a runny nose, make you sneeze, and even present you with some aching muscles. This is not an excellent combination when you want to go swimming. Also, when you swim with a cold, you are exposing other people to the germs and viruses you carry. It will also just expose you to the not-so-ideal water temperature.
It is often advised to take it easy and rest when you have a cold. Resting will help your body recuperate and strengthen your immune system in the process.
Reasons You Should Not Swim When You Have a Cold
1.Your Cold Can Worsen
Even if some people think that a cold is merely just that “a cold”, it is still your body saying it needs to rest because your immune system is not at its best. A simple cold can make you sicker and can even lead to an infection. A simple cough and cold can turn into Pneumonia, particularly when left untreated.
Sometimes when you keep pushing yourself to do some activity you shouldn’t when you have a cold, and if fever accompanies it, your heart may also suffer.
We can consider swimming a strenuous activity, especially for those who have a cold and fever. Your body should stay put, keep its energy so it can fight off the illness.
2.Your Cold is on Its First or Third Day.
The infection period that is high risk is one to three days when symptoms appear. Symptoms last for a week or two but may not be as contagious as the first few days of acquiring it. So if you are to ask if it is ok to go swimming with a cold, the answer is no.
You should not swim when the symptoms are pronounced, and you should skip any swimming activities instead. You should be responsible enough to take precautions so you can avoid affecting other people. This period is also the fastest you can infect others.
When you swim at the start of your cold, you can spread the virus and the bacteria to people near you. When you are in a pool, people can get infected by the secretions from your runny nose or when you sneeze. Everything you touch can be a channel to infect someone else.
3.You Will Feel Fatigued Faster.
As your body fights off the infection, it is just normal to feel tired fast. Your body needs rest so it can build up its immune system. Although tiredness is mild, it can also turn into exhaustion, especially when cold is followed by fever.
It is not wise to fight the tiredness that instead of taking the time to rest and sleep, you further exhaust yourself with too much activity. Ensuring that you get the needed comfort will get you bouncing back quickly.
4.It Does Not Feel Right to Swim When You Have a Cold
Swimming with a cold can feel unpleasant. Sometimes a cold is accompanied by sneezing and a runny nose, your breathing may also suffer because of congestion, and your eyes are watery and cannot focus. Getting in the pool may not be the best idea cause you will not be concentrating on swimming but will be bothered by the accompanying symptoms of a cold.
Others will also not feel at ease knowing there is someone near them or in the pool that may spread the dreaded virus and bacteria. You may even look sickly, and people may even avoid getting near you because of your appearance.
Though chlorine can kill most viruses and bacteria, it does not kill all. Chlorine also does not act instantaneously, so if you already blow your nose or cough around people or while you are wading in the water, there are people around you that may already get infected.
5.The Pool Water Can be Chilly.
For people who have a cold, it is not a fun experience to swim, particularly if you also have a fever. The water will give your body chills and make you feel unpleasant. The skin will be sensitive for the first few days when you have a cold, and it will bother you when you swim, and there is cold air around. Even getting your feet wet does not feel like fun.
Swimming is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, but a cold takes the fun out of it.
6.Swimming is a Rigorous Activity.
Though swimming is a refreshing and enjoyable activity, it is also tiring. When you are swimming in a slightly cold pool, your body’s temperature decreases and your body is using energy to maintain the ideal temperature. This leads to feeling tired afterward.
It is tiresome to swim when you have a cold and if you are also with fever. Your body will need to keep up with the rewarming process also after you leave the pool.
7.Chlorine in the Pool May Worsen the Cold.
Sometimes the bromine or chlorine added to the pool can also aggravate the symptoms of a cold. It can further your sneezing, cough, and runny nose. Some people react to the chemicals use more than others.
This is true if you previously noticed you are suffering from an allergic reaction while in the pool and if you suffer from a cold after a quick dip.
8.You May Pass Your Illness to Another Person Who is Immunocompromised.
You may think that you only have a simple cold, but you must remember about ]other’s safety cause you don’t know when someone else may pick up what you have. Chlorine is effective in killing viruses and germs that cause illness, but there is a percentage that it is not suited to some microbes. You must have the courtesy to leave the pool when you cough or sneeze.
9.Swimming Performance Suffers When You Have a Cold
When you do not just have a cold but also have a sore throat accompanied by unending fluid running from your nose and a cough that won’t quit, your performance will suffer. You will also feel exhausted not just because you have to concentrate on your strokes, but wiping off that mucus from your nose and coughing every second will take its toll on you. Staying home is your best option.
How to Take Care of Your Cold for Your Next Dip in the Pool
1.Rest and Relaxation
When you want your body to recover, make sure that you have complete hours of sleep. 8-hours is ideal, and it could be more if you are battling some illness. Adequate sleep will ensure that your body will be better and ready for the next round of swimming.
2.Get the Nutrition that Your Body Requires.
When you have a cold, your body may need more fluid than usual. Getting that water fix is crucial, so you can have a speedy recovery from cold and even from flu. Water can loosen mucus at the same time, help with alleviating congestion. You will surely be back on your feet in no time.
3.Take Your Mind off Stress.
Sometimes the immune system can suffer when a person has a lot of stress in their life. Excessive level of stress changes the hormonal balance, and this lowers the body’s resistance to common infections such as colds. You need to free your mind from such and just let your body take the time to rest and reinvigorate.
4.Take a 10 to 15-minute Walk.
You will reap the benefits as it will relieve cold symptoms. Walking will help your breathing and relieve congestion. For the common cold, this is effective and will get you to enjoy swimming sooner.
5.Do not Self-medicate.
Sometimes when people have a common cold, they will bulk themselves up with cold medicines or even take antibiotics, even without the doctor’s prescription. This is not how you can help your body fight off the cold. Although there are over-the-counter cold treatments, it is also not advisable to overdo it just because you want to get better fast. It can even worsen your cold symptoms.
Consulting your doctor for any meds you are planning to purchase is your best option.
6.Get a Doctor’s Appointment.
If you want to have a fast recovery and you want to make sure you are on the right track, you can get an appointment with your doctor. This is to ensure that if you need medicines, your doctor will be more than happy to prescribe them to you.
Although common colds may be a normal occurrence, for others who want in on the action and want to get back to swimming the soonest time, there is no harm in getting the doctor’s help for faster recovery.
Soup, juice, and broths will help when you have a cold. Taking it warm may be doubly helpful as it will relieve the congestion and will increase the flow of mucus and help to clear it out sooner. This is the time to pamper yourself and make sure you are getting what your body requires. Although the common cold has no cure, there is no harm in making sure you get better faster in time for the following swimming schedule.