Exercise Safety Tips for Swimming Routines

Preventative care can improve your swimming experience.

As dedicated swimmers know, their favorite sport is an efficient and enjoyable way to strengthen major muscle groups while keeping disease at bay. Keep several factors in mind to maximize your workout experience.

Eat a snack beforehand. Early morning swimmers, listen up: Consuming a snack prior to exercise is essential. Calories from the previous night's dinner aren't adequate, and you could end up feeling sick or faint during or after exercise. Wake up early and give your body the fuel it needs to perform your best.

Love your skin. Skin cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer today in the U.S. It's simple: Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before every outdoor workout.

Warm up before, cool down after. Avoid injury or cramping by preparing the body before rigorous exercise. Slow strokes and stretching moves make a big difference to your workout. Likewise, about five minutes before you stop, slow your motions for a "cooling" period. This prevents dizziness and blood flow from jolting to an uncomfortable stop.

Check your environment. Everyone makes mistakes, even pool staff. Something as small as misplaced backstroke flags can lead to serious injury. Before you dive in, take a look around the deck to ensure you know where rescue equipment is stored.

Watch out for lightning. Most pools close promptly if an electrical storm nears, but it's important to think for yourself, especially if you swim outside. When in doubt, play it safe and get out of the water.

Know the risks of open water. When heading out for a nature swim, always bring a buddy. Currents, water temperature and wildlife pose serious dangers, so learn as much as you can about a body of water before taking a dip.

A few safety measures save time and injury in the long run. Denton Regional Medical Center's Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Team understands the singular needs of athletes. If you would like to request a physician referral, give us a call at 1-855-477-DRMC (3762).

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Get Moving and Stay Safe: How to Avoid Common Exercise Injuries

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