Swimming With A Cold Is Bad

Many people love swimming even when they get a cold. However, swimming with a cold is bad. If you swim with a cold, it’s important to reduce the intensity of exercise, monitor symptoms, and take steps to keep others healthy.

When Is OK To Swim With A Cold?

Get a Neck Exam: According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s generally safe to exercise if your symptoms are “above the neck.”

However, it is advised to avoid swimming with a cold if there is bleeding below the neck, such as in your chest, or if you have a fever.

Delay exercising if you have an unsettled stomach or bodily aches. Consider whether it is worthwhile. It’s possible that you have no choice if you swim in a team. However, if you swim for recreation or fitness, it’s acceptable to take a day or two off.

Can I Swim While I Have A Cold?

The common consensus is that if you experience symptoms above the neck, such as a cough, sore throat, or runny nose, you should be well. Additionally, you should avoid the pool if you have symptoms below the neck, such as a fever or painful muscles.

This recommendation, however, is based solely on a single study, “The effect of exercise training on the intensity and duration of a viral upper respiratory disease,” which found that exercise appeared to lessen the symptoms of a common cold.

It’s challenging to suggest swimming while you have a cold because there isn’t any additional research on the topic. Because swimming while contagious can have devastating effects for both you and other people (if you swim in a pool).

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What Are Risks For Swim With A Cold?

  • Exercise may weaken your body and raise your risk of a viral infection like myocarditis when your body is battling a fever or the flu.
  • Your cold is at its most contagious during the first three days of it. So even if you could theoretically go swimming, it is hardly a responsible action.
  • Exercise can not feel right when you’re sick or otherwise feeling under the weather. It will not feel good to swim the way you are used to. Do you really want to endanger your health and the health of others in exchange for a mediocre swimming experience?

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What To Do If A Cold Prevents You From Swimming?

Swimmers can use their typical pool time to practice other aspects of their strokes. You could practice your skill by watching videos. Plan your upcoming marathon swim. Or you might pick up one of the top books on open water swimming if you need some motivation.

Can You Become Sick By Swimming In The Pool?

The CENTERS for Disease Control and Prevention found that hotel pools or hot tubs are responsible for one-third of all diseases associated with swimming.

Swimming pools, lakes, and even streams are examples of natural bodies of water that are teeming with pathogenic bacteria. You may frequently run across issues while swimming in a lake or pool, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • This rash
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Traffic and coughing
  • Eye disease
  • Infected ears or swimmer’s ear

These severe infections are frequently developed by unintentionally drinking contaminated water. Natural bodies of water that have not been cleaned may become contaminated by wastewater, sewage runoff, flooding, or mishaps when people go swimming, which can breed parasites, pathogens, and germs.

So, sure, you can acquire a cold while swimming in the pool because the bacteria that cause the common cold can get into the water. Although chlorine in a pool may kill certain bacteria, it most likely won’t.

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Is Swimming In Cold Water Healthy?

A factor could be the temperature of the water. The advantages and disadvantages of swimming in cold water are comparable, claims a study titled “Benefits and Risks of Cold Water Swimming: A Narrative Review.”

Winter swimming and cold water swimming, which are most popular in the arctic and northern regions, have long been linked to enhanced physical and mental endurance. So, is swimming in the ocean safe during the winter?

Always wear a wetsuit, swim with others, and take it slow while entering the water. It’s critical to keep in mind the possibility of water-related illnesses when considering your general swimming health.

However, some people, particularly those over 50, smokers, and those with chronic lung diseases, may develop more severe illnesses if they come into touch with microorganisms while swimming because of their compromised immune systems.

You should see your doctor if you feel ill after swimming in a lake, pool, or other body of water.

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Tips for Swimming With A Cold

Lessen The Force

It is okay to exercise while ill if your symptoms are above the neck, but because your body is already working to battle the cold, you might want to take it easy or cut it short.

Reduced swimming time or intensity also decreases the possibility of a cold turning into a more serious illness, allowing you to take more time to relax.

A few days of easy swimming or no swimming at all won’t significantly affect your training program.

Keep Track Of Your Symptoms

Will going swimming while sick worsen the situation? Both yes and no situations occur. The Cleveland Clinic states that swimming in chlorinated or bromine-treated pools might result in cold-like symptoms like runny nose, coughing, and sneezing.

Consult an allergy specialist if you believe you could be affected by these substances. You can also try taking antihistamines or swimming with nose clips.

Swimming, on the other hand, might aid with cold symptoms.

The Mayo Clinic claims that humid air (such as that found in a swimming pool) aids in opening the nasal passages, allowing mucus to drain, and enhancing breathing. Light swimming exercise also improves your mood and replenishes blood in your muscles. 

a swimming man
man is swimming

Avoid Getting Water On Your Face

If you have a cold and cough while swimming, try breathing through your nose rather than your mouth.

You have to keep swimming with your head up high to accomplish this.

Try sprinting, treading, or backstroke in the pool.

Take Protective Action

Ensure that your bacteria don’t spread. If you choose to swim when contagious, it is your duty to protect others by taking precautions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise frequent hand washing, especially after sneezing, because chlorine does not instantly eliminate bacteria. Avoid sharing water bottles or towels with other swimmers on the squad.

Watch The Weather

It is best to avoid swimming in warmer temperatures as they are conducive to bacterial growth. Avoid swimming after heavy rain, as the water is more likely to be contaminated.

Keep Ears Dry

Be sure to dry your ears completely after swimming and keep them dry at all times if possible.

Avoid Ingesting Water 

Because even a small amount can make you sick. If a pool is chlorinated, do not believe that chemicals will eliminate all bacteria. In a pool, some bacteria can persist.

Shower both before and after swimming to remove any residual chlorine. Showering in a public restroom may seem inconvenient. It’s also crucial to wash your hands.

Go To The Restroom

Be careful to remove everyone from the water, visit the restroom, and frequently change diapers. You shouldn’t go swimming if you or your child recently had diarrhea.

Never Swim With Open Wounds

Open wounds can increase the chance of getting sick, especially after surgery or body piercings. Make cautious to cover any exposed wounds with waterproof bandages before entering the water.


You may think swimming in cold water is one of the last things you want to do, but it is good for your health. However, swimming with a cold is bad. Remember to stop swimming when getting a cold.