It’s a great time to submerge yourself in the invigorating world of swimming. It’s a pursuit that not only revitalises the senses but also delivers bountiful health rewards. Amid the caress of tranquil lakes, the rhythmic pulse of ocean waves, or the refreshing cool of the pool, swimming offers an uplifting escape from daily stressors.
Ironically though, swimming could potentially lead to dry and irritated skin, according to NCBI. So, to preserve your skin's hydration and health while embracing the joys of swimming, it's essential to equip yourself with certain protective strategies. This guide offers invaluable insight into how to safeguard your skin underwater, enabling you to swim smartly and maintain a radiant glow.
Professional Swimmers Stay Hydrated
This isn’t just some hobbyist telling you what to do. Plenty of professional swimmers stand by the need for hydration before and after swimming. Although a more extreme example, Olympic swimmer Ryan Murphy lives with eczema, a skin condition that causes rash and flares from too much exposure to air.
To prepare for his swimming, he moisturises his skin and prepares his body in various ways. Think of Ryan Murphy’s case as the worst it could be at the top level. Even if you don’t have a skin condition, all those same worries that apply to him could still happen to you. With enough time and carelessness, your skin could easily become a desert.
Vital Tips For Preserving Skin Health
Here are some important habits for keeping skin healthy while swimming.
While swimming, you lose water through sweating, even though you might not realise it. Internally hydrating your body is equally crucial. Most popular swimming locations will be full of chlorinated water or saltwater.
Thus, any fluids that go into your body won’t actually quench your thirst. Ensure you drink ample water before, during, and after swimming to replenish lost fluids. Adequate hydration also ensures that your skin remains moist and supple, reducing the likelihood of it becoming dry and flaky.
Taking a shower before entering a swimming pool serves several purposes. It effectively pre-hydrates your skin and washes away any dirt or bacteria that could be sticking to you.
This simple act limits the amount of chlorinated water absorbed by your skin, thus preserving its natural hydration. In addition, the shower readies your body for a dip, lessening the shock of entering the water. Some moisturisers such as high quality shea oil help lock in that moisture even further.
Sunscreen is crucial for any swim bag checklist. Even if you're swimming indoors, UV rays can still penetrate glass windows, causing harm to your skin. In addition to protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays, waterproof sunscreen helps lock in your body’s natural hydration.
The barrier also acts as a sort of barrier that prevents too much-chlorinated water from seeping into your skin. It’s a great way to prevent drying skin after you’re done with a dip into the pool.
Post-swimming, make it a habit to thoroughly moisturise your skin. Opt for a mild, fragrance-free moisturiser that suits your skin type, paying extra attention to dry-prone areas such as feet and elbows. A gentle exfoliation once or twice a week effectively treats dry patches on your face and body.
This counteracts the flaky skin that can result from chlorine exposure. However, it's important to be gentle when exfoliating to avoid causing any damage or irritation to your skin. Don’t end up countering any positive effects of moisturiser by scrubbing too vigorously.
Benefits of Swimming
It’s important to understand why people love swimming as a healthy activity.
The allure of swimming extends far beyond mere recreational activity, promising an array of physical and mental health benefits. As a low-impact exercise, swimming is universally accessible to people across all fitness levels and ages.
Swimming also offers a powerful cardiovascular workout, concurrently strengthening multiple muscle groups including your core, arms, legs, and back. It also has a pronounced effect on improving one’s stamina, due to how much breathing plays a part in the activity. After all, one needs strong lungs to swim for long periods.
Dating back to ancient civilisations, water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, has served as a potent form of alternative medicine. It employs water in diverse forms to foster healing and relaxation. The therapeutic properties of water are derived from its physical attributes such as buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, and temperature.
Buoyancy relieves pressure on joints and muscles, while hydrostatic pressure can amplify blood circulation and reduce swelling. Temperature regulation offers its benefits—with warm water inducing relaxation and cold water mitigating inflammation.
Swimming is a delightful hobby, teeming with numerous physical and mental health benefits. Incorporating the above crucial pointers allows you to enjoy your swimming sessions while maintaining hydrated, healthy skin. Although it may seem odd to be worried about hydration while swimming, it’s a crucial part of your aquatic journey.