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Thread: Swimming with a cold

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    Active Member mbriones's Avatar
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    Swimming with a cold

    I swam today with a cold. I have no fever, and no infection, just congestion. I was pleased at how my swim was sort of a 'vacation' from my cold. The symptoms vanished during the swim.

    Afterwards (1000 yards), I felt rejuvinated, and my sinuses felt less congested.

    Anyone else have this experience? I'd never go in with a fever, etc., being a big contagious germ carrier, but then chlorine would take care of that I think....but why take chances?

    Marian

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    Very Active Member AnnG's Avatar
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    My doctor once told me that if a person is afebrile and just congested above the neck its okay to continue your workouts, just try to get more sleep if you can. But if you have any kind of a fever and chest congestion, then its time to back off.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Yeah, usually you can swim pretty well with a cold. The only bad thing is when you get phlegm in your throat and every time you try to breathe it just rattles the phlegm around and you don't actually get any air! Man, I hate that

    I take it "afebrile" means not having a fever? Never heard that one before.

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    Very Active Member AnnG's Avatar
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    Yes, the prefix "a" means "without." Afebrile means without fever. A leftover word from my medical transcriptionist days!

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    One of the reasons I loved going to the pool was because it cleared up my sinuses. The increased blood flow, increase body heat and chlorine all work together to dry up your sinuses, so you may feel better after swimming if you have a cold. In my case, it made my allergies feel better. Of course, they don't go away like a cold, so I finally saw the doctor and got some allergy meds.
    Kae

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    Very Active Member jean sterling's Avatar
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    If swimming with a cold perks me up and makes me feel better I will swim the next day. However, if I still feel blah or worse after swimmng I decide that it's best not to swim until things clear up. Also, if the cold is below the neck (in the chest) I won't swim.
    Jean S.

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    This thread should be tied to the "spitting snot into the vent" thread.

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    Active Member mbriones's Avatar
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    EEEEEEWWWWWWWW...I read that one and went now what type of gross people are swimming in THAT pool! I keep a box of kleenex on the deck with a plastic bag next to it, so when the need arises, I stop, blow, and put the snot rag into the plastic bag....

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mbriones
    EEEEEEWWWWWWWW...I read that one and went now what type of gross people are swimming in THAT pool! I keep a box of kleenex on the deck with a plastic bag next to it, so when the need arises, I stop, blow, and put the snot rag into the plastic bag....
    Although I agree hacking a big lugie into the gutter is gross, bringing a box of kleenex in a zip-lok out on deck seems like a little too much trouble to me.

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    Very Active Member Karen Duggan's Avatar
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    Swimming, especially in 80 degree water tends to "clear out" the head. I also noticed that swimming tells me if I have a sinus infection. If I push off under water, my sinuses let me know they're there! If I were smart I'd probably get out, but I'm not so I do the next best thing and just not push off as deep!
    K.Duggan

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    Please, please stay out of the pool if you are sick. Please, if you must swim, then do it out in the ocean, where you can clear everything out to your hearts desire and lay out in the sand and let the sun and sea breeze heal you. mahalo, clyde

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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    I think I might try it (swimming with a cold). I'll let you know how it works out.

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    Active Member onefish's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    Next time I feel one coming on, I'm heading to a warm beach. Maybe even Hawaii. Will work for my nose AND noggin, and guaranteed I will have better effects on people when I get back, though they might get sick of hearing about it.

    DV

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    Very Active Member ddl's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    I have heard that swimming while having a cold can cause a condition called myocarditis. Before I heard of this, I swam once last march while having a cold. The cold seemed to have receded temporarily and I felt great thinking swimming cured my cold, and I thought this would be what I'd do in future if I had a cold again. But in the following days the cold progressed into the worst cold I had ever had, I almost suffocated due to the congestion. Used one big box of Kleenex per day. Would never want that happen again.

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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    I think myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle - could it be caused by swimming with a cold? Seems like a rather dire consequence.

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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    Quote Originally Posted by jdut View Post
    I think myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle - could it be caused by swimming with a cold? Seems like a rather dire consequence.
    I agree that myocarditis is the inflamation of the myocardium (the muscular part of the heart). It is a condition that is driven by an infection (viral or bacterial). If you have the common cold (generally viral) it could very well turn into myocarditis. As much as I wouldn't like to think so, there is evidence that shows 20% of deaths in young adults is due to myocarditis. Now, obviously not all of those are swimmers who are out there practicing with colds, but it is still a relevant concern. I know that I tell my swimmers not to get in with a cold unless they are on antibiotics that don't have any significant side effects.

    All the best!
    Andy Scherer
    Site Founder
    TheSwimmersCircle
    Head Coach
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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    wow- good to know- THANKS

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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    Just wondering where all that congestion goes when it leaves your head........Remind me not to share a lane with you under these particular circumstances! I'm thinking it's best for all concerned if you stay out of the pool until the cold goes away. Maybe I'm just a germaphobe.

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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    I was once told by my asthma doctor to never swim with a cold period, no questions. Most people swallow phlegm all the time, we just don't know it. Isn't that lovely. The reason we notice it with a cold is that there is so much more phlegm. I think most doctors have rethought the idea that if it is above the neck it is okay to workout. Most say never workout if sick.

    Towards another thread about the runner who died in New York. If he had a cold it is possible that he blocked some oxygen and the heart couldn't get enough oxygen to itself or to major muscles.

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    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming with a cold

    Quote Originally Posted by craiglll@yahoo.com View Post
    Towards another thread about the runner who died in New York. If he had a cold it is possible that he blocked some oxygen and the heart couldn't get enough oxygen to itself or to major muscles.

    Interesting thought. I run and notice I start to get stomach cramps 1 or 2 times during a long run. I also have asthma, and carry my inhaler with me. As soon as I feel a cramp coming on, I take the inhaler. It may not entirely prevent them, but the cramps don't last very long. At most, I may have to walk for a minute.

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