So far, I have been able to swim in my new outdoor pool even when the outside air temperatures have been as low as 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The water in the pool has been 80 degrees, so once I get in and get started, I am warm enough. I have yet to think, while I’m swimming,”I’m cold, so I want to get out of the pool and warm up.” However, the chilly outside temperatures do make it more challenging to get in and out. Here are a a few do’s and don’t’s that I have learned to make it work:
Do make sure your core is warm before going out.
- This can be done by working in the yard, which seems to help the body acclimate to the cold air on the skin at the same time, even though I am wearing warm work clothes. Just don’t overdress and make yourself sweat too much.
- Going for a run first or doing some house work helps, too, but not as well.
- Recent adequate calorie intake helps the body stay warm.
- So does enough sleep.
Don’t let your body lose heat unnecessarily.
- Don’t sit around in damp running or biking clothes thinking you are going to stay warmed up from that exercise. 😛
- Don’t rest too long before moving on to swimming.
- Don’t eat ice cream or frozen fruit smoothies for a snack right before trying to swim. No matter how warm you feel before your snack…
Do dress warmly enough when uncovering the pool.
- It only takes me a couple of minutes to get cold in the lower air temperatures.
- Especially think about wind chill.
- Try to keep moving at a speed that generates some warmth while doing this, even dancing a little. [hr]
Do wear more swimwear in the pool.
- A swim shirt, or rash guard shirt, helps moderate the chill of any fall day. When getting into the water, it keeps the body a bit warmer while in the pool. Even though the water is 80 degrees, there is some exposure to the air while swimming.
- Running pants were added to my swimming attire when the air temperature dropped below 50 degrees. Now that I have thought of them, I might use them sooner. Mine are form fitting pants, so there is no noticeable drag from the fabric in the water. I’m planning on sewing some out of a more durable polyester activewear fabric. Until then, the running pants have not been a hindrance to my swimming at all.
- If you don’t already wear a swim cap, it keeps the head warmer, which is one part of the body that does stay significantly out of the water much of the time, unless you are part dolphin.
- All of this is easier to get off when wet than a standard wet suit.
- This attire also blocks the chill air when I’m all wet and getting out of the pool.
If the pool felt soothingly warm to get into, it would be called at “hot tub.” It would be too warm to swim in for very long. So, just like getting started in the lap pool, I have to put on my game face and get to work! Here in my backyard, though, when between sets, I can pop my head up, take a breath of fresh air, and enjoy the scenery. I can be inspired by my music playing. There are often family members around to say hello to. When I’m done, it’s a shorter walk to the warm, totally functional shower near my fireplace. Yeah, I’m having fun.