Can you swim every day or are there downsides to having a regular dip? I love swimming and if I have the chance I will get in the pool, ocean or a lake every single day. But in order to keep up the pace and stay healthy, there are some things you need to be aware of.
- What happens if you swim daily?
- Is swimming every day healthy?
- How many days a week should you swim?
- Can you swim too often?
- Is it bad to swim in chlorine every day?
Rumor has it that swimming is one of the top four most frequently chosen forms of fitness in North America today. Clearly, every day lots of people all around the world are taking the plunge into the pool. So perhaps the real question becomes: is it a good idea to swim every day? Is swimming daily a smart choice? What health benefits will you get if you choose to swim daily? Or is it better to swim less frequently? Let’s find out!
What Happens If You Swim Daily?
Swimming is considered a low impact exercise. What does “low impact” mean? Low impact swimming and other sports don’t place stress on your joints like your knees, hips or ankles. This means that, as long as your doctor agrees, swimming is considered safe to do even if you have joint pain or a joint condition.
But what happens if you swim daily? What can you expect? The answer is that it depends on the “how” of your swimming plan. How much do you swim daily? How intense are your swimming workouts? And how well do you care for your body in between swimming workouts?
When you plan your daily swimming workouts well, you can swim daily and enjoy lots of health benefits while getting fit and strong.
Is Swimming Every Day Healthy?
For general purposes, swimming every day is considered healthy and even smart – as long as you plan ahead. What do we mean by plan ahead? Recovery science indicates the body does need to rest and recover after each workout, so you don’t want to leave rest time out of the mix!
This need for recovery time is even greater if you are repetitively working out the exact same muscle groups in the exact same ways every single day and every single workout. But regardless, your body is going to need time to recover and heal after every workout.
Swimming is a whole-body sport, but it can still leave you vulnerable to overuse injuries if you do the same exact workout every day. To avoid common overuse injuries like swimmer’s shoulder, knee tendonitis and hip impingement, it is important to vary your swimming workouts daily.
How To Vary Your Swims
You could do this by focusing on different strokes every day. For example, one day you could work on backstroke and the next day focus on butterfly. You could also achieve this goal by using swimming props to target different muscle groups, like using a swim board to focus on your kicks and using flippers to build intensity into your laps.
And you could vary the intensity of your workouts, one day focusing on short and speedy sprint swims and the next day focusing on longer slower endurance swimming. Never enter the pool without first doing some warming stretches to warm up your body and your major muscle groups. And always end your swim by cooling down those same muscle groups.
How Many Days a Week Should You Swim?
The answer to this question depends on two factors: how your body responds to swimming as well as what type and length of swimming workout you do each day.
It is always a good idea to get an overall physical checkup before you start any new exercise or fitness routine. This can help you map out the best way to replenish and refuel your body between swims to meet your health goals without overextending.
Once your doctor clears you to swim daily, there are several ways you can vary your daily swimming routine to stay safe.
Using props like a kick board, swimming noodles and flippers gives you the opportunity to exercise different muscle groups. You can also alternate between low, mid and high intensity laps and swimming sprints versus endurance swimming.
Water aerobics, water yoga and water walking are a few more fun ways to vary your pool workouts and guard against injury or boredom.
Can You Swim Too Often?
Ask any aspiring competitive swimmer if it is possible to overextend with swimming and they will tell you yes! Swimmer’s injuries are common and have sidelined more than a few talented hopefuls.
Even if you are not eyeing competitive water sports, it is important to recognize that swimmers can experience burnout just like any other athlete. You don’t want to end up dreading a trip to the pool just because you wouldn’t let yourself rest when you needed and wanted to.
If you find yourself getting bored with swimming or simply tired of the routine, this may indicate you need to add variety to your swimming workouts or perhaps alternate swimming with another favorite dryland workout routine.
Is It Bad To Swim In Chlorine Every Day?
Chlorine is the most common chemical sanitizer in use today. While saltwater pools are becoming more popular, even these generally have small amounts of chlorine as well. And overall, chlorine pools still dominate the swimming scene. This means if you want to swim daily, you will probably be exposed to chlorine daily.
Different people respond to chlorine exposure differently. Chlorine itself is drying to the skin, hair, eyes and nails. Chlorine can also produce vapors that may be irritating to the skin and lungs in varying degrees. Luckily, there are some things you can do to protect yourself from any harmful effects of chlorine exposure.
Reducing The Downsides Of Chlorine
You can pre-treat your hair with oil or conditioner and wear a swimcap. Be sure to take your contact lenses out before you get into the pool and wear goggles to protect your eyes. And you can swim outside for improved ventilation if the vapors are irritating to you.
If you find your ears get clogged or feel uncomfortable, give ear plugs a try. Earplugs can also protect you from the dreaded swimmer’s ear. And be sure to shower right away in fresh water after a swim and apply a good moisturizer to protect your skin between swims.
Can You Swim Every Day?
Can you swim every day healthily and safely? As long as you take appropriate precautions, vary your swimming workouts and monitor how your body responds, you should be safe to swim daily.
Are you considering a daily swim workout? Do you swim daily? We’d love to hear your stories and insights in the comments.
More Swim Fit Tips
- Can you get fit just by swimming?
- Is swimming enough exercise?
- What to do after a swim
- Is swimming better than lifting weights?
- What to wear after a cold swim
- Is cold water swimming safe?
- Griffis et al. “Health Benefits of Swimming.” Centers for Disease Control, 2022.
- Woods et al. “Exercise, Inflammation and Innate Immunity.” Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America, 2009.
- Wanivenhaus et al. “Epidemiology of Injuries and Prevention Strategies in Competitive Swimmers.” Journal of Sports Health, 2012.
- Saplakoglu. “What Does Chlorine Really Do To Your Body?” Live Science, 2018.