I hope you had a good swimmer’s tan this summer and are looking forward to going back into the water.
Whether you spent hours in the pool, or just a few minutes before getting out because it was too cold, the thought of diving back in can be thrilling.
But what if I told you that after your summer tan, you need to wait at least six weeks before you can swim again? Or maybe it’s even longer?
The answer, unfortunately, is that it depends on your body and how you responded to the sun’s rays. If you were one of the nearly 7 million Americans who suffered from a heat wave this summer, you might be at risk for heat-related illnesses. Which, of course, means you’re gonna have to take it easy for a while.
Here’s a primer on how long it takes your body to recover from a hot summer of swimming and what you should do to get back in shape.
How Long Before I Can Swim After Shocking Pool?
Your body needs time to restore itself after you’ve been exposed to heat. And that time varies from person to person, based on a number of factors. First off, how fit are you? Are you a regular swimmer, or did you take the summer off from swimming?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best time to swim after being out of the water is between four and eight weeks. After that, your body is at risk for heat-related illnesses. So if you’re planning on going back into the water, make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk. The CDC also recommends avoiding the water if the temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is especially important if you’re planning on entering any kind of warm water environment, like a beach or a pool.
How Much Swim Work Should I Do?
To get back into shape, you need to do a little bit of homework first. The best thing to do is swim a couple of times per week, gradually increasing your time in the water as you go along. Start off with 10 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, increasing your time by about five minutes each week until you reach 40 minutes by the end of the next month. Once you’ve got your 40 minutes per week, increase your time to 50 and continue adding five minutes every week until you reach 60 minutes per week.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, it takes your body between four and eight weeks to recover from the effects of heat. During that time, you need to cut back on your exercise and gradually increase your water intake. While you’re healing, it’s also a good idea to get out of the sun and go into the shade whenever possible. If you follow these tips, you should be back in shape in no time and able to swim with the least amount of discomfort possible.
Will My Body Ever Recover Fully?
Although your body will recover completely from the effects of heat, it won’t be the same as it was before you were exposed to the sun’s rays. The more fit you are, the more easily your body will be able to restore itself. If you continue to work out and drink plenty of water, your body will eventually reach its pre-summer weight and be able to function at its best. But it will never be the same as it was before the heat wave.
If you’d like, you can also try visiting a spa or a wellness clinic and getting a treatment that promotes healing. While this might be costly, it’s worth it if you’re serious about getting back in shape.
In some cases, people have had to wait as long as a year to be able to swim again after being out of the water due to a heatwave. For some reason, the body just doesn’t bounce back as quickly as others do from the effects of heat. If you’re one of those individuals, be patient and try not to put yourself at risk. Even then, it might be difficult to find the motivation to swim when the weather is so hot that you can’t bear the thought of getting wet.