There are loads of swimming myths floating around that are completely false. So let’s go through some of the common ones and debunk them once and for all.
1. You should wait one hour after eating to swim
The first myth to bust is the idea that you can’t swim until at least one hour after you’ve eaten. This misconception came about because we are told that our digestive systems need some time to absorb the food we eat. People often say that if we exercise soon after eating, we will experience cramps, or our blood will not go to our limbs because the digestive system is using it. Therefore, we won’t be able to swim properly and could drown.
However, digestion does not take all of the blood in our bodies away from our muscles; otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to move at all!
It’s a good idea not to eat a huge meal just before swimming as this could make you feel heavy and nauseous, but having a light lunch or energy-boosting snack is totally fine before a swim.
2. You have to be fit to swim
This is completely false. You do not have to be an athlete to enjoy swimming. Anybody can jump in the pool and do some laps or play some games. In fact, swimming is a great way to start exercising if you’re a beginner. You can make your swims super intense or more laid back, depending on your fitness levels and preferences.
3. You should hold your breath underwater
This is another common misconception when it comes to swimming. It sounds like something we should be doing if we’re underwater. After all, if we breathe in, then surely, we’re going to take in a bunch of water?
Beginner swimmers often hold their breath whilst swimming underwater. However, this can cause a build-up of carbon dioxide in the body. If this happens, you’re at risk of having insufficient oxygen going to the muscles. The best practice is to breathe out or blows bubbles whilst you’re underwater, which prepares your lungs to fill back up with air when you come up for a breath.
Over time as you practice swimming, you should start to get this technique right and probably find you can stay underwater for much longer.
4. Your hair turns green because of chlorine
Those who have bleached hair will often find it turning green when they’ve been swimming in a pool full of chlorine. However, this is not due to the chlorine itself. It’s actually caused by metals being present in the pool, particularly copper. Long term exposure to copper can cause that green tint that nobody wants!
To prevent this, try wearing a swimming cap and rinsing your hair after every swim to remove the metals.
Thanks for reading.