Swimming has countless health and mental benefits. While it appears simple, it is a low-impact, full-body workout that burns thousands of calories. For this reason, it is an excellent way to lose weight and keep in shape. Like other activities, swimming has its fair share of myths. Some are intriguing in that they have kept most people out of water. Below are common swimming myths you shouldn’t pay attention to.
1. More Training Makes You a Better Swimmer
While there are several biomechanical techniques for becoming a faster swimmer, training hard doesn’t necessarily make you a better swimmer. Some people think there are magic numbers that guarantee swimming success. For instance, swimming 50 or 60 miles weekly or 2000 miles yearly can make you a better swimmer.
Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely true. No studies have shown that swimming 60 miles weekly is better than 58 or 63 miles, and no research shows that 10 sessions weekly is better than 7 or 12. More training also doesn’t make you a better swimmer, alone – improving your swimming abilities takes hard work, dedication, discipline, and commitment.
Becoming a better swimmer and swimming faster depends on physical fitness and other factors, such as speed, strength, and endurance. You should also be mentally prepared and have the right tactical knowledge and skills. A swim coach can help you develop these skills.
2. You Can’t Sweat While Swimming
Most people believe they can’t sweat while swimming. Many believe so because they think they can’t overheat and sweat underwater. Surprisingly, as you increase your swimming intensity, so does the heart rate. This increases your body temperature, and most people start sweating. However, because you are surrounded by water, you may not notice that you are sweating. Ensure that you hydrate properly before, during, and after swimming workouts.
3. You Should Wait 30 Minutes After Eating Before Swimming
Waiting 30 minutes after eating to swim is another common myth believed by most people. However, this phrase is common among young children because of specific reasons. Swimming instructors and caregivers often discourage children from entering the swimming pool immediately after eating to allow their fragile stomachs to settle and start digesting. They can also use this time to use the restroom, reducing the risks of bowel accidents in the water. Otherwise, you can eat a protein bar, sandwich, and light foods before swimming.
4. Swimming is Injury-free
This myth is popular because swimmers can’t collide or fall, like in contact sports. However, swimmers occasionally get injured. They can hit pool walls, suffer scrapes from broken plastic lane lines, get ear infections, or have painful shoulder injuries. While swimming is generally safe, swimmers aren’t entirely out of danger.
Swimming is undoubtedly a great way to exercise. If these or other misconceptions have held you back from swimming, reconsider your decision. Other misconceptions you should ignore are the perception that women can’t swim while on their cycle, chlorine turns hair green, and you can only learn to swim as a child.