Does Swimming Make A Cold Worse? The Truth About it!

Hey there, fellow swimmers and health enthusiasts! Have you ever wondered whether it’s a good idea to hit the pool when you’re under the weather? Well, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of confusion and conflicting advice out there about swimming with a cold. In this blog post, we’re going to dive into the topic and separate fact from fiction. So, grab your goggles and let’s get started!

Understanding the Common Cold

Before we jump into the swimming debate, let’s quickly refresh our knowledge about the common cold. We’ve all experienced those pesky symptoms: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and just an overall feeling of bleh. The common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract, and it’s incredibly common, especially during the colder months.

So, how does it affect the body? Well, aside from making us feel like we’ve been hit by a truck, the cold virus triggers an immune response in our bodies, leading to inflammation in the nasal passages and throat. Now, here’s where the confusion starts – some people believe that swimming can make these symptoms worse. But is that really the case?

Impact of Exercise on Cold Symptoms

Believe it or not, moderate exercise can actually do wonders for our overall health, even when we’re battling a mild cold. Research has shown that engaging in physical activity can help boost our immune function and provide relief from certain cold symptoms. It’s like giving your body a gentle nudge to kick that cold to the curb.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that you go for an intense swim workout when you can barely breathe through your nose. But some light exercise, like a leisurely swim, might actually make you feel better. It’s all about finding that sweet spot where you’re doing something good for your body without overexerting yourself.

Does Swimming Make A Cold Worse?

Alright, it’s time to tackle the big question – does swimming worsen a cold? The answer might surprise you. Contrary to popular belief, there’s evidence to suggest that water-based exercise, like swimming, can have positive effects on respiratory health, especially for individuals with conditions like asthma or allergies.

So, if you’ve been avoiding the pool because you’re worried about making your cold symptoms worse, it might be time to reconsider. Of course, everyone’s body is different, and it’s essential to listen to what yours is telling you. If you’re feeling up to it and your symptoms are mild, a dip in the pool could actually provide some relief.

Precautions for Swimmers with Colds

Now, before you start doing cannonballs into the deep end, let’s talk about some practical tips for swimmers who are thinking about taking a plunge while battling a cold. First and foremost, listen to your body. If you’re feeling absolutely miserable, it’s probably best to give the pool a miss for the day. There will always be more swimming sessions in the future.

If you do decide to swim, take it easy. Opt for a gentle, relaxed swim rather than an intense training session. And please, do your fellow swimmers a favor and steer clear of the pool if you have a fever or are experiencing severe symptoms. No one wants to catch your cold – or any other germs, for that matter.

Personal Experiences and Expert Insights

To give you a well-rounded view of the topic, let’s hear from some swimmers who have dealt with the dilemma of swimming with a cold. Many have found that a light swim can actually help clear their sinuses and make them feel more human, while others prefer to stay out of the water until they’re back to their healthy selves.

We’ve also sought input from healthcare professionals and coaches, and the consensus seems to be that mild exercise, including swimming, can be okay for some individuals with cold symptoms. However, the key is to be mindful of your own comfort and limitations. If you have any doubts, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional who knows your specific health situation.


In wrapping up our discussion, it’s essential to remember that the relationship between swimming and colds isn’t one-size-fits-all. What works for one person may not work for another. The decision to swim while under the weather should be based on your individual health status, how you’re feeling, and your comfort level.

So, the next time you find yourself sniffling and debating whether to lace up your swimsuit, weigh the pros and cons, listen to your body, and make an informed decision. After all, your health and well-being come first – whether that means diving into the pool for a refreshing swim or opting for a cozy day of rest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Now, let’s address some common questions that often pop up when discussing swimming and colds:

1. Can swimming help alleviate nasal congestion associated with a cold?

– Some swimmers find that the gentle pressure of water can help clear their sinuses, providing temporary relief from congestion. However, results may vary from person to person.

2. Is it safe to swim in public pools if I have a mild cold?

– If your symptoms are mild, and you’re mindful of not spreading germs to others, swimming in a public pool can be okay. Just be considerate of fellow swimmers and adhere to hygiene practices.

3. What precautions should I take if I choose to swim while feeling under the weather?

– Take it easy, avoid intense exertion, and be conscious of your symptoms. If you’re unsure, it’s best to skip the swim and focus on resting and recovery.

4. Will chlorine in pool water worsen my cold symptoms?

– While chlorine can sometimes irritate the respiratory system, especially for individuals with sensitivities, it’s generally safe to swim in properly maintained pools. However, if you experience discomfort, it’s best to exit the water.

5. How long should I wait after recovering from a cold before returning to regular swimming activity?

– It’s wise to give your body a bit of extra recovery time, even after your symptoms have cleared. Ease back into your swimming routine gradually to avoid overexerting yourself.

So, there you have it – a comprehensive look at the relationship between swimming and colds. Remember, the key is to listen to your body, stay informed, and make choices that align with your well-being. Happy swimming, and here’s to staying healthy both in and out of the water!