Swimming is an excellent exercise for people with allergies. If you’re fortunate to live near a beach, you’ll find one of the purest concentrations of air in the 10 to 15 inch layer above the water. The gentle humidity will keep your airways from drying out. Some believe that exposure to chemicals in swimming pools cause an increase in hay fever occurrences in swimmers. It is also believed that this occurs during adult life if the person swam in chlorinated pools as a child. Below are a few tips on how to minimize the chances of developing allergies while swimming.
Tips: Swim in pools with excellent ventilation or outdoor pools. Indoor pools with poor ventilation seem to produce more adverse health effects.
When breathing out in the water, breathe out gently through your nose. This will prevent water from entering through your nose. Alternatively you can use a nose clip to keep your nostrils closed as you swim.
If you are still having respiratory problems try alternating your strokes. Breaststroke is good as your nose is nicely angled to not have water going up it, and instead of taking a breath every stroke, go for two strokes, then three strokes etc to improve your breath control.
Do not swim in highly chlorinated pools every day. If you do, you risk building up trihalomethanes and chlorine or chlorine byproducts in your body. Swimming intermittently gives your body a chance to cleanse itself, minimizing negative health effects.
If you swim vigorously, you increase your chances of absorbing trihalomethanes and of developing respiratory problems. As children breathe proportionately more air for their size than adults, they are also at increased risk of overexposure to chlorine and chlorine byproducts. It is especially important for vigorous swimmers and children to take the above precautions.
You can reduce your overall exposure to chlorine and chlorine byproducts by keeping your drinking water in a jug or pitcher. This allows some of the substances to evaporate. Using filters on your drinking water tap and your showerhead can also minimize your exposure. The National Sanitation Foundation provides certification for pools, hot tubs, spas and water-purification systems.