There’s nothing better than getting into a cold swimming pool on a hot day. With all the myths and old wives tales we tell about the dangers of swimming, however, you’d think we hate our swimming pools.
“Don’t get into the water after you eat”. “Don’t swim under a full moon”. “Sharks can get into any suburban swimming pool, don’t trust them!”
In today’s article, we’ll be taking a closer look at three common swimming pool myths and how much truth there is to them, so you can take back your swimming pool experience.
Ready? Good – let’s get started!
Our first myth is as old as time and something most of our moms told us, growing up. “Don’t go swimming right after you eat lunch or you’ll get a cramp.” It’s a myth with some degree of truth, enough at least that most of us still won’t do it as adults.
Here’s the official word: when you’re busy digesting food, more of the blood in your body is sent to your stomach to help digestion. This leaves less blood for the rest of your muscles to do the work they do. This might sound like a non-issue, but if you overwork your muscles while swimming and they don’t have that blood on-hand to work, cramps can easily develop.
So the theory has some foundation, but you’re not likely to cramp up unless you eat a huge meal and try to swim a country mile in the space of 5 minutes. For the most part, eating a light meal and swimming conservatively afterward is usually fine.
Growing up, we all sniffed a swimming pool or two and thought, “There’s no way I’m getting into that.” Because the smell of chlorinated water is unmistakable, right?
Actually, not quite. The bacteria in your pool water attach to your chlorine, creating what’s known as chloramines. Shocking your pool turns these chloramines into oxygen which escape up into the air.
The upside? You’re smelling chlorine that has escaped into the air. Which means it’s not in the water anymore, and thus not working anymore. If you can smell chlorine, that usually means you need to add more, not that there’s too much in the water already.
Remember those kids, growing up, who came back from a long summer at the pool with green dyed hair? Remember staying out of the water for months afterward to save your blond locks?
Turns out, you didn’t have anything to worry about. Not from chlorine, at least. The real culprit is copper. Copper-based algaecides and oxidized metals attach, in the water, to proteins in the shafts of your hair. And that’s what turns your hair green.
As an extra note, you can nix the green coloring with specific over-the-counter shampoos, so not to worry.
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