Swimming is one of the best forms of fitness for the mind and body! It’s low impact and is an awesome exercise for people of all fitness levels.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there, so we wanted to share a #WhiteboardWednesday video to bust the 10 most common myths about swimming!
Myth #1 – You have to be in really good shape
FALSE!! While the swimmers you see on TV at the Olympics look like Greek gods, a majority of swimmers do not look like this and you shouldn’t feel intimidated by your current fitness level to get into swimming. We believe anyone and everyone can be a swimmer!
Myth #2 – You can’t lose weight from swimming
FALSE!!! There are countless examples of people who have lost a ton of weight in a relatively short period of time through swimming. We believe that there is so much more to your health than your weight, but if you are specifically looking for a workout that burns a lot of calories, then swimming is great!
Myth #3 – You don’t sweat while swimming
FALSE!! This is obviously not true. The idea here is that because you’re already in the water, you don’t overheat and sweat. The reality is, that when you’re increasing your intensity in the pool, your heart rate elevates and as a result of your increased body temperature, you start to sweat.
Because you are in the water, you just don’t notice that you are sweating as much as if you were on land. Just make sure to always be well hydrated before, during and after a workout.
Myth #4 – You are supposed to hold your breath while underwater
FALSE!! Holding your breath underwater causes a build-up of carbon dioxide. This makes you feel like you’re gasping for air. Instead, focus on continuously exhaling a steady stream of bubbles out of your nose and mouth when your face is in the water between inhales.
If you’re new to swimming, just start slow and when you dip your face underwater, start blowing bubbles, and practice humming underwater.
Myth #5 – You should wait 1 hour to swim after eating
FALSE!! The myth that you are supposed to wait 1 hour to swim after eating a meal comes from the concept that the energy required to digest food will take away from your arms and legs and you’ll drown if you try to swim right after eating.
Obviously, we know this is not true. When you start swimming or any form of exercise, your brain essentially puts digestion on hold so your energy systems are focused on your physical activity.
Keep in mind, it’s not the smartest thing to eat a big meal or drink alcohol before swimming. Save it for after the swim!
Myth #6 – Clear water is clean water
FALSE!! While a clear looking pool or lake is a sign of a healthy body of water, it doesn’t mean it’s clean.
This is because even if the water looks like glass, there’s plenty happening on a microscopic level. It could be way out of balance in chlorine or other pool chemicals. There could be contaminants in the water.
This is why it’s important to follow the guidance of pool staff and do your homework before embarking on any open water swimming.
Related: How To Swim In a Hot Pool
Myth #7 – Chlorine turns your hair green
FALSE!! It’s not chlorine that turns your hair green, it’s copper. Copper sulfate is a chemical in water that aids in preventing algae growth. Prolonged exposure is what causes hair to get that green tint.
Here’s a solution – wear a swim cap. This will protect your hair form the impact of chemicals on your hair. Always wash your hair after swimming to get the lingering pool water out of it.
Remember that while the chlorine is not what turns your hair green, it can still dry it out. So be sure to give it a good rinse.
Related: Why You Should Wear a Swim Cap
Myth #8 – Peeing in the pool is harmless
Unfortunately, this is false. The simple act is probably harmless to the person doing the deed, but the pool and everyone else around you suffers.
Specifically because urine is a contaminant. Large concentrations of it can create a hazardous environment, so don’t treat the pool like a toilet, use an actual toilet and save the pool for swimming. This public service announcement has been brought to you by MySwimPro.
Myth #9 – If you didn’t learn how to swim as a child, you have no hope
FALSE!! I love this one! I’ve seen so many people start swimming as adults and go on to be some of the fastest swimmers in the water.
Swimming on a team as a kid definitely helps give you a head start, but if you learn the fundamentals of technique, you’ll improve faster as an adult than when you’re a kid.
When you learn technique as an adult, you can actually improve faster because you’re smarter, more mentally engaged in what you’re doing, and when you swim on your own you have the opportunity to work on improving your weaknesses more than if you were on a team growing up.
Myth #10 – Swimming with equipment (like fins) is cheating
FALSE!! Sometimes people feel like wearing fins is cheating because you can swim faster and cover more distance – especially if you’re a beginner swimmer.
If you swim with fins, paddles, or any other equipment, you should not feel like you’re cheating. Swimming with equipment can actually give you a better workout because it engages more muscle groups and teaches you how to swim faster.
A good rule of thumb is to start off with no equipment and gradually layer on your fins, paddles, or other equipment through the workout so that no more than 50% of the session was with equipment.
Related: 8 Benefits of Swimming With Fins
Bonus! Myth #11 – Swimming continuously will make you faster
FALSE!! Nonstop swimming is NOT the most efficient way to use your time in the water. You can’t beat the training benefits of a structured workout.
For example, let’s say you swim 1,000 meters continuously in 20 minutes. Great workout. You can make it even better by incorporating interval training, mixing up the strokes and styles of swimming.
So without taking any more time, you can do an 800 meter workout in the same 20 minutes, but with the right structure, you’ll be able to swim at a higher intensity with better stroke technique, which in the long-run is much better for your swimming and fitness development.
If you’re looking for a way to get started, download the MySwimPro app for iOS or Android and get started with one of our training plans. You’ll get a personalized swim workout plan designed just for you to help you reach your fitness goals. We have workout plans from complete beginner to advanced, so be sure to check it out.
Also, if you appreciate these videos, follow our series on the MySwimPro YouTube Channel. Be sure to like, comment and subscribe and share with someone who needs to see this and we’ll see you next time! Happy Swimming!