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SaltySwimmer
September 13th, 2009, 05:58 PM
Thought of this while reading the "Swim Rant" thread. Okay-- totally anonymous poll: do you shower before getting in the pool for swim practice?

3strokes
September 13th, 2009, 09:23 PM
Thought of this while reading the "Swim Rant" thread. Okay-- totally anonymous poll: do you shower before getting in the pool for swim practice?

In Ontario it is a (Provincial) Health REQUIREMENT not only in Public pools but in Clubs as well. However, as you might have guessed, hardly ever enforced. I do it to avoid the remote but possible eventuality of being embarrassed by being called on it (by either a zealous lifeguard or an overzealous fellow swimmer.)

I once had to call the lifeguard's attention to a swimmer whom I saw in the shower area (I was finishing my swim and he had walked through the shower area directly to the pool area —without showering—) not because he hadn't showered but because his body was covered in open, red and obviously irritated, oozing sores. He was asked to leave the pool. (The Health signs posted could not be missed by a blind person's seeing-eye dog.)

nhc
September 13th, 2009, 10:53 PM
Wow, total surprise by the poll. I thought the vast majority do take a shower. Everywhere I go it is a requirement. Aside from that, it helps prepare for the cold water temperature if you shower with cool/cold water. Saturating yourself with fresh water before entering the pool also helps reduce chlorine absorption through skin, and prolong the life of your swimsuit. Besides, aren't you supposed to wet your hair before putting on the swim cap?

FWIW, the shower is free :cool:

knelson
September 13th, 2009, 11:21 PM
Aside from that, it helps prepare for the cold water temperature if you shower with cool/cold water.

I think all it accomplishes is making you cold before getting in the water. If you stand around on a pool deck wet you're going to get cold.

Count me as a never shower before getting in.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
September 14th, 2009, 12:52 AM
SwimFest09 was a clean event and beautiful pool!

"ATHLETES MUST SHOWER BEFORE ENTERING THE POOL"

Ricki
September 14th, 2009, 01:08 AM
There is a guy where I swim, who I saw get out of the pool and go into the showers to urinate with the water running and then hop back into the pool again. Seriously, is it that hard to use the bathroom? Now that my gross story is over, I will add that I do take a shower before entering the pool.

Syd
September 14th, 2009, 01:26 AM
It is also a requirement here in Taiwan. Wearing a swim cap is a requirement, too. Keeps lots of unwanted stray hairs out of the pool and filters. Not only is it more sanitary, but it probably cuts down on cleaning costs, as well.

nhc
September 14th, 2009, 01:57 AM
Now can someone list the benefits of not taking a shower, to yourself and others? It does save you 2 minutes of time, but then you could have saved tons of time by not brushing your teeth or washing your face every morning.:cool:

Rykno
September 14th, 2009, 01:59 AM
Our pool has signs about showering before you put your suit on. We even have signs telling bathers that underwear is not allowed in the pool.

it seems the growing trend over here is to just wear your regular shorts with briefs/boxers under.

I only shower when I am at the pool on my free time, or with the girls for their swim lessons.

if I get to the pool at 19:40 and practice doesn't start until 20:00 I am not going to shower then freeze (as mentioned above) for 20 minutes on deck.

__steve__
September 14th, 2009, 08:31 AM
At the fitness center I use the bathroom stall is such that you unavoidably notice when someone takes a dump and subsequently enters the pool without washing. I recently noticed this, and the person appeared to be well paid and educated too. I guess unhygienic behavior is just a way of life for some.

Ripple
September 14th, 2009, 08:42 AM
I have noticed that the people who don't shower are often the same ones who keep their heads above water the whole time to avoid wet hair.

__steve__
September 14th, 2009, 08:46 AM
I have noticed that the people who don't shower are often the same ones who keep their heads above water the whole time to avoid wet hair. I'll splash them a mouthfull of water the next time i see them:D
SDK with high feet pointed at the face

knelson
September 14th, 2009, 10:01 AM
Now can someone list the benefits of not taking a shower

I just don't think running water over myself for two minutes before getting into the pool is going to improve the water quality. Unless everyone took a lengthy soap shower all it's probably doing is wasting water. My experience is that when a shower is required, most people just "get wet" and not much more anyway.

I was actually surprised the other way. Virtually no one I swim with showers before entering the pool.

Dolphin 2
September 14th, 2009, 10:33 AM
One of the nice things I like about swimming is it’s a very clean activity and everything in an aquatic facility smells like chlorinated water.

Remembering back to my old high school PE days, instead of having to use the same locker room that was used for the “dry land” activities (where the usual hot & sweaty odor permeated the atmosphere), the pool had its own locker room which was squeaky clean.

In addition to using a separate locker room, most of us took a shower at home, another shower before getting in the pool, and another shower after getting out.

So in addition to showering before you actually get in the pool, please shower at home too. It’s nice to go in the locker room without getting an "olfactory assault” on your nose!!! :D

Dolphin 2

lefty
September 14th, 2009, 10:40 AM
So in addition to showering before you actually dive in, please shower at home before you even come to the facility - It’s nice to go in the locker room without the “assault” on your nose!!! :D

Dolphin 2


a noble sentiment, but most people are coming straigt from work so this would be impossible. I agree with Kirk, unless you are covered in filth spraying off does no good so why bother. I only shower when I was running or lifting weights before swimming.

aquageek
September 14th, 2009, 11:15 AM
So in addition to showering before you actually get in the pool, please shower at home too. It’s nice to go in the locker room without getting an "olfactory assault” on your nose!!! :D

Dolphin 2

Why in the world would I shower before I shower? O-C-D

pwb
September 14th, 2009, 11:29 AM
I just don't think running water over myself for two minutes before getting into the pool is going to improve the water quality. Unless everyone took a lengthy soap shower all it's probably doing is wasting water. My experience is that when a shower is required, most people just "get wet" and not much more anyway.

I was actually surprised the other way. Virtually no one I swim with showers before entering the pool.

Right on. I'm sorry, but showering before jumping into a vat of chlorinated water is wasteful of time & resources.

Do people shower before using cardio or weight equipment in the gym?

orca1946
September 14th, 2009, 11:34 AM
Clean pool How about the parents of kids in lessons wearing street shoes onto the pool deck to watch the kid up close ?? Keep the goose poop off my deck & out of my mouth !!!:badday:

stillwater
September 14th, 2009, 11:37 AM
I sit in that heated hot thing with water spewing from the walls. That counts doesn't it?

quicksilver
September 14th, 2009, 11:41 AM
There's two good reasons to waste perfectly good water before you swim in a public pool. :)

1.) Supposedly the skin and hair will soak up tap water (like a sponge) and in turn the chlorinated water can't be absorbed as readily.
Your hair and skin will thank you.

2.) More importantly, any sweat or residue from shampoos, conditioners and deodorant will get into the pool water.
When bacteria and chemicals interact with chlorine, they form chloramines.

That's the byproduct that makes you cough and gag on days when the pool reeks like chlorine gas (especially indoor pools).
http://www.waterandhealth.org/newsletter/cleaning_air.html


Many pool facilities across the country are making efforts to switch to ozone and ionization rather than chlorine.

mattson
September 14th, 2009, 11:50 AM
I sit in that heated hot thing with water spewing from the walls. That counts doesn't it?

I don't see how sitting in a street cleaner would improve your hygiene. :soapbox:

Midas
September 14th, 2009, 01:53 PM
I sit in that heated hot thing with water spewing from the walls. That counts doesn't it?

I always felt that sitting in one of those things made me *more* dirty. Public hot tubs are pretty gross.

One of the pools I swim in (with my kids--not for training) requires people to shower before entering but they don't really enforce it. They have two shower heads right on the pool deck. Most people that actually "shower" just dash themselves under one of these for about 20 seconds. Does that count as a shower?

DolphinGirl
September 14th, 2009, 02:05 PM
I usually don't unless I'm really sweaty. I'm less grossed out about unshowered people than I am with people with really long hair not wearing a cap in the pool. Inevitably, that hair ends up in my fingers..ick!

Dolphin 2
September 14th, 2009, 03:32 PM
In addition to showers, pools should have also have a “Bidet” installed on each “WC” in the restrooms.

A Bidet (also known as a “washlet” or “douche”) is a personal hygiene appliance which can really help with eliminating the risk of recreational water bacteria and they're quite common in Japan and europe.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/JapaneseToiletBidet.jpg

While we're on the subject of personal washing habits and techniques, the Japanese have a rigorous bathing regimen which starts with a mundane shower, then a neck deep soak in a hot tub. Even in high school gyms, the shower/communal hot tub arrangment is a quite common amenity.

Although showers are great for rinsing off sweat and other gunky stuff, I like the Japanese approach of having a real bath (getting completely submerged with those back-tickling and scrubbing jets also)!!! :D

Dolphin 2

ALM
September 14th, 2009, 06:17 PM
Many years ago, while passing through town, I stopped in Columbia, Missouri, to swim with the Masters group there. They swam at the University of Missouri (MU) pool. This was their old 6-lane, 25-yard pool.

They had a very strict "shower before swimming" policy. In each of the locker rooms they had an attendant stationed with a view of the group showers (the type with multiple shower heads on poles, in one big open area). They required a full shower, with soap, before swimming and the attendant's job was to watch everyone to make sure they really did it. I don't remember for sure but I think they also required this to be a nude shower, without a swimsuit.

Three years ago MU opened a beautiful new aquatic center (think Indianapolis, 20 years newer). We have hosted several swim meets there. At one of those meets I was standing on the pool deck telling someone about the showering requirement they had for their old pool. The manager of the new facility overheard me. He told me that he was one of the "shower attendants" when he attended school there. He said it wasn't the most pleasant job in the world.

Interestingly, they don't have that shower requirement in the new aquatic center.

aquageek
September 14th, 2009, 06:31 PM
In addition to showers, pools should have also have a “Bidet” installed on each “WC” in the restrooms.

A Bidet (also known as a “washlet” or “douche”) is a personal hygiene appliance which can really help with eliminating the risk of recreational water bacteria and they're quite common in Japan and europe.Dolphin 2

Creepiest post ever on the forum.

stillwater
September 14th, 2009, 06:50 PM
I feel like I need to take a shower after reading D2's post.

marksman
September 14th, 2009, 06:51 PM
This is actually an important topic, given the discovery of viable MRSA in the water in beaches:

http://www.webmd.com/news/20090914/beaches-may-be-safe-harbor-for-mrsa

I bet it'd survive in pools for a period of time as well.

Given that MRSA causes open wounds, I doubt showering would actually minimize the risk of transmission whatsoever. People with active infections simply need to be kept out of pools.

shane
September 14th, 2009, 07:36 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8254206.stm

gigi
September 14th, 2009, 07:48 PM
I've always heard that just rinsing off all the lotion, conditioner, deodorant, and what-have-you helps water stay clearer and helps keep pH levels more stable. I don't know if that's true though.

I always shower before going into the pool at the Y because that's the rule. But at home - I just hops in!

Hoosier
September 15th, 2009, 09:37 AM
If for nothing else to water down my hair before I put on my cap....makes a BIG difference. But really, "dont see how it does any good"?...how about all that persperation on your body, even from just doing regular things...dont need to work out with weights to have something to wash off. Deoderant? (dont use any?).....

knelson
September 15th, 2009, 10:11 AM
how about all that persperation on your body, even from just doing regular things

What makes you think you're not sweating while working out hard in the water?

__steve__
September 15th, 2009, 10:33 AM
I know I'm sweating in water above 84F (sometimes the pool get's that hot) because when I get out my face is flush and I'm still sweating as if I ran or something. But when the water is nice and cool, when I get out no matter how hard I swam it was as if I didn't do anything.

H2O is the world's best thermal conductor, that's why radiators use water:agree:

Dolphin 2
September 15th, 2009, 11:44 AM
Creepiest post ever on the forum.

Hey Aquageek
So what's so "creepy" about an idea for making pools more hygienic so they aren't the moral equivalent of swimming in the Pacific ocean off Santa Monica Beach only a week after Los Angeles had a raw sewage spill?

Furthermore, I've never understood how people can continue to live in the middle ages and just use dry "TP" -and think it's hygienic!!! :confused:

Dolphin 2

__steve__
September 15th, 2009, 12:11 PM
dryTP=roids, washing is better. Never use pool as a wash

stillwater
September 15th, 2009, 12:56 PM
Ahem, please step back behind the line.

Georgio
September 17th, 2009, 08:02 AM
I do a good job of bathing at home before a swim. I do wet my hair before my swim cap to help prevent absorbing :bliss:chlorine.

SolarEnergy
September 18th, 2009, 08:45 PM
showering? of course not. Although if I know that the water in the pool is on the cool side, I may throw some very cold water on my back, just to lower the magnitude of the shock of entering in the pool.

Showers? They are in theory mandatory in this part of Canada, but this is irrelevant I find.

In the pool, I spit, I sweet (a lot) and I snuff out. IOW I put much more dirt in the water by training than by not showering. Multiply this by a full squad of adults and teenagers, that sums up to a lot of spit sweet and potentially flu infected snivel. And even then. We are far from the water quality of a lake with the bacterias, microscopic faeces material and other organic compounds. Fortunately, some products get added to the water in order to counterbalance this. Spraying some water on myself without soap for 1 minute before entering in the pool? Frankly I don't think it makes a significant difference. A pool is by nature a top clean environment (well, at least based on my standards).

__steve__
September 18th, 2009, 09:35 PM
I used to waterski in a river used as a raw sewage end point in the 80's. That was the least of my worries with gators and poisonous snakes swimming around.

SolarEnergy
September 18th, 2009, 10:33 PM
I used to waterski in a river used as a raw sewage end point in the 80's. That was the least of my worries with gators and poisonous snakes swimming around. LOL

On a more tragic note, an other poster has made reference to potentially harmful organisms found in open water. I do not know how much of her story I can share publicly (never asked for the permission), but let us just say that one of the best athletes in the world, all times, all sports, Shelley Tailor Smith (7 times world champion, 1991 leader of the world cup ranking before all males) has had a huge struggle against one of these, after having swam in a River. Was it in Santa Fe Argentina? I don't remember (although what I do remember from this river is that no matter how clear the goggles, you just can't see your own hands while swimming in there, marathon is 64k long).

She struggled for her life and won that fight as if it was the 8th World Title.

JHUSF
September 18th, 2009, 10:39 PM
I know I'm sweating in water above 84F (sometimes the pool get's that hot) because when I get out my face is flush and I'm still sweating as if I ran or something. But when the water is nice and cool, when I get out no matter how hard I swam it was as if I didn't do anything.

H2O is the world's best thermal conductor, that's why radiators use water:agree:

Try weighing yourself before and after... people are always shocked to find out how much they sweat during a swim workout, even in cooler water temps

frankiej
September 18th, 2009, 11:28 PM
I showered before I get into the pool today but that was because I ran before. At least the water felt warm when I got in!

ddl
September 19th, 2009, 12:01 PM
Some excuses for not taking a shower are absurd. I once heard someone say he never washed vegetables before eating them, because he believed restaurants never washed them.