For most people, swimming with a cold is a fairly strange idea. Doesn’t it make more sense to curl up wrapped thick blankets and binge-watch your favorite shows until you get better? Still, some people choose to dive into the pool despite their illness, which is quite understandable for those who don’t want to miss their swimming classes, athletes preparing for a competition, or folks who simply can’t say no to a friend who got a spanking new above ground pool and is throwing a pool party. But is it a good idea to go on a swim with a cold? And what about chlorine? Does it help to kill the cold virus?
Short Answer: Yes. And No.
Let’s clear things up a bit here.
Yes, it possible to go swimming with a cold. Many athletes attend their training even with the sniffles, especially when they’ve got a coach who won’t accept anything less than a missing limb as an excuse for missing a session. However, certain factors must be considered regarding this particular situation which we’ll outline later.
But the real question is, is it a good idea to go on a swim with a cold? The answer would be a clear no. There are plenty of things that can go wrong when you do.
For one, you may end up stressing your body which isn’t a good idea considering that it’s already under too much strain from fighting the virus and possible infection. Given that, your body may take longer to recuperate from the cold.
Second, going on a swim with a cold can cause the virus to spread. This is especially true if you cough or sneeze while in the pool, contaminating the water and putting all other swimmers at risk of being infected.
Furthermore, you just won’t feel comfortable going on a swim if you have the colds. A stuffy nose will make it harder to breathe even if you’re used to wearing swimming nose clips. You’ll also notice that you get exhausted faster than usual.
When and When Not to Swim with a Cold
When is it okay to go swimming with a cold? Some experts say that it’s okay so long as the symptoms are above your neck. That is, if you’re experiencing a stuffy nose or a sore throat because of the colds, then it’s okay for you to swim.
So long as you keep your swimming intensity at a relaxed pace, you shouldn’t feel your symptoms get worse. Swimming can help alleviate some symptoms of the colds by clearing up your nasal passages.
On the other hand, if the symptoms are below your neck meaning you feel muscle aches in your limbs or sharp pains in your chest, then it would be a better idea to take the day off. This is especially true if you have a fever as this can lead to the development of myocarditis. Simply put, myocarditis is a condition where the heart becomes inflamed because of a viral infection.
Regardless of where you feel the symptoms though, it is still a better idea to just take the day off, put your swimming cap away and wait for your body to heal before you hit the pool again. This way, your body will be in a much better condition so you can train harder. You’ll also be saving other pool users from getting the colds. Besides, the pool will still be there when you get better.
Q: Should I go swimming with a cold?
Medical professionals generally advise people against going swimming when they're suffering from the common colds. For one, an intense swimming regimen puts too much strain on the body, which can result in a longer recovery period. Also, it puts the other swimmers in the pool at risk of contracting the cold virus.
Q: Can swimming help get rid of a cold?
Swimming is known to help alleviate the signs and symptoms of a common cold, but it won't necessarily cure it. For instance, it can help to open up blocked sinuses and clear them up to a certain degree and temporarily relieving the patient from a stuffy nose. Unfortunately, it appears that this doesn't always work for everyone.
Q: Is swimming while sick bad?
Going for a swim while suffering from any form of illness is never a good idea, even if it's just a common cold. Such activities can put too much strain on the body, which can impede or lengthen the patients' recovery. It also puts other pool users at risk of contamination or infection.
Q: Should I go swimming with a sore throat?
Although it is possible to go swimming with a sore throat, it is still not recommended to do so. Sore throat is caused by bacteria, and regardless of how careful you are, you can still end up contaminating the water and infecting other swimmers in the pool. Also, you won't be able to enjoy swimming because you'll feel very uncomfortable.
Q: Can swimming with a cold make it worse?
That depends on the severity of your symptoms. If your nose is just stuffy, then you come out fine after your swimming session. However, if your cold is accompanied by a slight fever, then you may feel worse by the time you finish swimming.
Q: Does chlorine kill cold virus?
That depends on the specific circumstances involved. Chlorine is an effective disinfectant and pool water sanitizer. It can effectively kill off the cold virus on surfaces that have been contaminated via sneezing, coughing, or touching. However, once the virus has attached itself to your mucus membranes, chlorine won't be able to help.
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Yes, it is possible to go swimming with a cold but the more important thing to consider is whether you should. Taking a swim with a cold can put too much strain on your body, and can even cause the virus to spread via the pool water and lead to contamination and infection. So if you do decide to take a swim, be considerate and follow swimming etiquette and proper hygiene. Remember, even if chlorine can kill off most germs and bacteria associated with the common cold it doesn’t work instantaneously so you are still at risk of affecting other swimmers.