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Cold in the Swimming Pool? Warm Up!

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Cold in the Swimming Pool? Warm Up!

Cold in the Swimming Pool? Warm Up!

Nobody likes to be cold in the swimming pool!

Unless you’re a very unusual athlete, blue nail beds, tight muscles, and chattering teeth are not your idea of fun. Getting cold in the pool can turn a great swim workout into a miserable experience that can result in falling short of your fitness goals and an unshakable all-day chill.

Pool time is precious and often hard to fit into your schedule – so what can you do to keep warm and keep your swimming on track?

How To Keep Warm in Cold Water:

  • Dress Warm: Dress appropriately before you leave for the pool. Many swimmers make the mistake of dressing down before workouts to minimize the temperature transition from pool deck to pool water. Don’t do this! When you arrive at the pool pre-chilled, your condition is less likely to change.
  • Get Ready:  Make sure your mesh gear bag and precious swim gear are close at hand to the end of your lane. Jumping in and out of the pool usually chills swimmers, so make sure your equipment is conveniently located. Adjust your swim goggles, MP3 player, and swimwear before entering the pool.
  • Dive In Quickly: Build on the momentum that carried you to the pool. Don’t waste time eyeballing the water – dive in immediately. Spending time on deck will not keep sustain warmth during your workout.
  • You’re In – Get Swimming: This is the most important step for me. Make sure your workout includes a warm up with full body swimming. Sure, you may be excited to use your new hand paddles or swimmer snorkel, but start with a substantial and consistent swimming effort at the top of your workout before you start working on drills and stroke technique. Spirited full body swimming will help maintain your body temperature. Swim drills and stroke work are important to improving your swimming, but beginning with a lesser effort could cause your body to cool down and get cold.
  • Keep It Moving: It’s wonderful that you’ve discovered a new best friend in your lane – but keep it moving. Chatting between sets or laps eats more time than you realize. Keep rest intervals under control and move on with your swim.
  • Get Out / Get Warm: Congratulations – your pool time is up and hopefully you hit your yardage. Get out and get warm. Hit the hot tub, take a hot shower, dry your hair and body, and dress warmly.
Warm Swimmer = Happy Swimmer
Warm Swimmer = Happy Swimmer

Cold swimmers – did my advice help you stay warm in the pool? Please let me know what you think and share your tips as well!

See you at the pool,

Robin Spencer Kiefer


P.S. Check out our more helpful advice on How To Choose Swim Fins and getting started with Center Mount Snorkels.

About Kiefer Swim Products

Performance Gear For Swimmers. Today Kiefer is a multifaceted company but still purely focused on serving the aquatic industry. We have expertise in engineering world class products like our custom starting blocks and racing lanes for all levels of aquatic facilities. We serve the lifeguard and aquatic safety and rescue industry with a full line of products that absolutely perform when you most need them to, and we serve the competitive swim business with the products needed to swim at the highest level.

  • Janice Lewis says:

    We swim at night and the temp outside is 65ish the pool is at 80. My problem is that while swimming laps my back and arms gets cold. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep my back and arms warm.

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hi Janice! I remember once swimming while it was lightly snowing in Tucson, Arizona. It was an odd sensation going from warm to cold over and over as we completed a two hour workout. Unfortunately I don’t have any word of wisdom, despite the air being below 40 and the pool being in the lower 80’s it wasn’t enough to truly affect me. I’d only suggest while you are resting on the wall in between distances, keeping as much of your body below the water’s surface as possible. Or swimming harder to get your blood pumping!

  • Aaron says:

    What if the temperature of the pool is 58F and its too cold to swim in the pool, but you have to anyways?

    • Emily Milak says:

      Brrrr Aaron! The coldest temps I’ve swum in are during open water swims. Some athletes wear wetsuits, some don’t. I don’t think I’ve ever swum in water below 60 degrees.

  • Danny Noble says:

    Our Y pool used to be warm at 84 but they turned it way down. I have to wear leggings, pref the thick cotton-lycra ones and a shirt. Even then it leaves me cold – 15 mins and I’m done. I guess maybe the lap swimmers like 70 degree water but I don’t.

    I know this is very old buthad to add.

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hi Danny, I’m sorry you are cold! Its a fine line to walk for pool operators, I know! I married one. There are all kinds of things to be considered when setting a pool temperature. Some facilities have multiple tanks that hold different temperatures to appeal to the masses but not every facility has that luxury. If I may ask are you lap swimming or doing water jogging? A class? Maybe I can give you some tips.

  • Diam says:

    I am teaching grandbabies to swim, but i get too cold and miserable in the ymca pool.

    • Emily Milak says:

      It can be hard to stay warm if you aren’t moving too much, as someone who teaches learn to swim I understand! I try to move more if I am feeling cold, get as active as I can and stop the shivers!

    • Bobbie says:

      They now make long sleeve T-shirts FOR THE WATER. You might try one of those. I don’t know if they work or not. Never tried one but am thinking about it.

  • Richard says:

    I wear a neoprene cap which I find works better for me than a rash guard type shirt. Seems to help minimize heat loss from the head.

  • johanna simmons says:

    I am going to try your warm up tips as I am usually cold in the pool. I will start tomorrow!

  • Stewart says:

    What about wearing a shirt of some kind until becoming acclimated to the water temp?

    • Robin Kiefer says:

      Absolutley, wearing insulating clothing in the pool will help you acclimate and stay warm in unpleasantly cold water- the trick is finding the right clothing. Kiefer used to tight-fitting neoprene clothing, but it was very costly.
      We also carry lycra watershirts for swimmers.
      Ultimately you want to find a way to keep warm that won’t interfere with your activity in the pool- in the WaterShirt doesn’t impeded your swimming- than it’s a great way to beat the cold.

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