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Swimming is one of the best exercises that one can opt for to achieve overall body fitness. Not only does it burn calories but tones the entire body. Besides, this is one exercise that guarantees minimum physical injury. Even those having minor physical ailments are advised swimming due the negligible risk involved. However, there is one area of concern that all swimmers need to take care of; protect skin when swimming. This concern arises due to the chlorine mixed in swimming pool water.
Chlorine is mixed in pool water to protect the skin against infections. While protecting against some infections this same chlorine becomes a cause of other ailments like skin darkening and dryness. For those having extra sensitive skin the risk is greater. But this should not stop you from taking a dip in the pool. There are ample numbers of ways to protect the skin when swimming. Skin care after swimming also forms an important part of the regime.
Here we discuss a couple of ways and means that can help protect the skin during and after a swim. Skin is the largest organ of the body and it is essential to protect it.
• Waterproof sunscreen:The combination of chlorinated water and the sun can play havoc on the skin. Not only does it darken the skin but also damage it. In order to counter these effects it is advisable to apply a thin coating of waterproof sunscreen before going swimming.
• Coconut oil:Our skin has a natural thin layer of oil that serves as a barrier against viruses and bacteria keeping the skin healthy. When swimming in chlorinated water this layer is stripped off leaving the skin susceptible to infections. By applying a thin layer of coconut oil the skin is provided with an additional layer of protection.
• Stay hydrated:Keep a bottle of water or some glucose drink at hand when swimming. A sip or two between laps will help keep the skin hydrated and protect the body from dehydration also.
• Pre and post swimming showers:You do not only protect skin when swimming. You start before you enter the pool and continue well after your swimming session as well. Take a shower before a swim to prepare the body and skin and after to get rid of all the chlorine and bacteria. The pre-swim shower can only be water but post-swim must essentially be good cleansing with soap and shampoo.
• Vitamin C:Take it internally or apply it topically, vitamin C is excellent for swimmers’ skin. Internally it builds immunity against infections. Externally it should be applied to skin and hair immediately after a swimming session. Since chlorine does not wash off like normal dirt vitamin C sprays help get rid of it.
• Moisturize after swim:Skin care after swimming is essential as the skin gets exposed to chemicals and the sun’s rays while swimming. An ideal routine involves a shower and an application of a good moisturizer. Slather yourself with an antioxidant moisturizer which is also rich in vitamin C and vitamin E.
• Natural skin treatments:Apart from the store bought skin care products there are certain items found at home that can be very helpful in caring for skin. Honey, lemon, rosewater and glycerin are some such products. To counter the darkening effects of the skin a mixture of honey and lemon proves to be very effective. Apply and leave it for around twenty minutes and then rinse off. Mix equal amount of rosewater and glycerin and apply every night to keep the skin moisturized.
Everything has a good side and bad side to it. Same is the case with swimming. But this does not mean that we give up swimming because the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Protect skin when swimming and take proper after-swim care and enjoy every stroke and every dive in the pool.