There are many benefits of swimming but when is the best time to swim? A day has just 24 hours differentiated by the absence or presence of sunlight. If you’re curious to know when it’s best to swim, you should continue reading.
While some might be indifferent about swimming time, others argue that timing plays a role in swimming. Hence, this article will be focusing on the pros and cons of swimming in the morning, afternoon, evening, or night.
The choice of when to swim solely lies on you, including your schedule and availability of a pool. At the end of the article, you should be able to decide what works best for you.
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A number of swimmers love the idea of swimming in the morning. Some swimmers may swim before breakfast to lose weight. Conversely, another set of swimmers may choose to swim 45 minutes after breakfast to build their muscles.
However, the undeniable fact is the soothing feel of the water after waking up. That’s enough to keep you refreshed all day.
If you are looking for reasons to swim in the morning, I’ve got some compelling and proven ones here.
Gets you started for the day
Nature has put some energy boosters in water such that it provides some relief when you’re in it. If you consider swimming a form of relaxation, creating a session in your morning routine will be a nice idea.
Swimming in the morning lightens one’s mood, keeping you refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Its soothing feeling allows you to feel energetic, alert, and prepared for the day as a mental boost.
Reduced risk of sunburn
Swimming in the sun has negative effects both in the short and long run. Of course, outdoor swimming exposes you to the sun, putting you at risk of sunburn.
If you reside in locations with high sun intensity and duration, your chances of sunburn are higher, and you need to be careful. Swimming in the early hours of the day when the sun’s intensity is low is recommended.
Additionally, never forget your swimming goggles to protect your eyes from glare and reflection.
Less crowded public pool
Many individuals have a minimal preference for swimming in the morning. Well, it is understandable since most people have to begin their daily activities. Therefore, there will be less crowd at the pool.
Furthermore, it becomes easier to utilize the lengths of the pool for your practice or exercise sessions. If you’re interested in relaxation, there’s less disturbance at the pool hence better concentration.
Although swimming in the morning allows you to improve your mood, it also comes with some disadvantages.
The most likely disadvantage of swimming in the morning is reduced visibility. This is common if you are swimming in the early parts of the morning when there are poor lighting conditions.
You are more likely to experience this with swimming pools without lighting systems. The morning fog can also contribute to reduced visibility, especially if it is open water swimming.
It is riskier to swim in open water when visibility is very low. One can swim and get injured, and help may not come in time.
Chilling water temperature
Since there is no sun for a couple of hours, water loses its temperature and becomes cold pretty fast. Hence, you might feel cold when swimming in the morning.
It is advisable to gradually enter the pool rather than jumping in to avoid losing muscle control. This way, you give yourself a chance to acclimatize to the temperature. Wearing a wetsuit can help you keep out the cold.
Your body might not be fully awake as well, and you may feel a little sluggish. This state makes it difficult to enjoy your swimming. It is also ideal to include some pre-swimming warm up and dry exercises.
No lifeguard on duty
If you plan to swim in open water, there is a higher tendency for the lifeguards to be off duty. Therefore, if anything goes wrong, you are on your own. This can be particularly risky for beginners.Ensure you have a family member or friend who is a good swimmer nearby.
Might clash with some morning activities
For many individuals, the morning is often occupied by many unavoidable activities. Hence, it can be pretty difficult to squeeze out some time for morning swimming. Similarly, some unexpected must-dos may also pop in the morning.
Some people may have meetings, errands, school, or even have to resume work. Even if you could make some time available, it can take a while to get used to the routine.
Besides heading to the pool in the early hours of the day, you can also schedule your swimming for the afternoon. The afternoon is quite popular among many individuals, perhaps because the temperature becomes higher.
Some individuals find it easier to fix their swimming time in the afternoon since they will be done for the day. So if you are contemplating on whether to swim in the afternoon, here are some advantages and disadvantages.
Besides lifeguards, who are now on duty, you would have probably accomplished the bulk of your daily routine, and it is time to let off some steam. Swimming in the afternoon is common because of the following advantages.
The sun has reached its peak, and the ambient temperature has increased alongside that of the water. You do not have to experience cold when jumping into the water. It is easier to adapt to the pool’s temperature.
After you’ve completed your daily activities, it looks more reasonable to some people to hit the pool. Most individuals visit the swimming pool to relieve the day’s stress and refresh their mood for the rest of the day.
Many people prefer swimming in the afternoon; hence, you are likely to meet new faces at the swimming location. Simultaneously, there are a lot of people to interact with to have fun, play games, and build new friendships.
Although the afternoon swim seems widely accepted, it also comes with some disadvantages you need to note.
In the afternoon, many people crowd most public swimming pools and open water. Your swimming location can be too busy for you to enjoy, especially if you are a fan of quiet environments.
Although you may meet new people, you can also encounter annoying individuals. You may also bump into individuals more often due to the space or even get pissed off by the crowd entirely.
When the temperature is high, it is normal for your core temperature to increase. This makes it easier to get dehydrated and exhausted when swimming in the afternoon. Your best bet is to take breaks and drink enough water to stay hydrated.
High chance of sunburn
The sun is always higher in the afternoon than other periods of the day, coupled with increased ambient temperature. Exposing yourself to the harmful UV-rays of the sun all through this period may result in sunburn.
In the long run, skin-related medical conditions may develop. To protect your skin, wearing a protective wetsuit is advisable. However, you should also consider buying sunscreen with high SPF and taking a shower after swimming.
Besides swimming in the morning or afternoon, the option is to swim in the evening or night when you are done with the day’s activities. Slowly, the sun is going down, and everywhere is getting dark.
At the same time, the ambient temperature and that of the water gradually begin to cool. Is this the best time for you to swim? Below are some advantages and disadvantages to note.
Swimming in the evening or at night allows you to wrap up your day in a nice fashion. It enables you to unwind from all the stress during the day. It may be a good option for you, given the benefits discussed below.
You are at your peak powers during the day
After a long day of activities, the body has stretched, and the muscles are warmed up already. You do not have to perform dry exercises to get your body (muscles) in shape. This plays a beneficial role in your swimming.
Since the muscles are warmed up, you might feel stronger, and your core muscles are at peak temperature. Therefore, you can perform efficiently in your strokes. There’s no less to worry about, and you can concentrate better on your swimming.
Quality recovery after swimming
Another advantage of swimming in the evening or at night is the post-swimming recovery. There are not many activities in the evening. At least, you won’t be going to work or school, social commitments, or doing chores and errands; therefore, you will want to rest and sleep.
Unlike morning or afternoon swim, you have enough time to recover after each session without disrupting your plan. You can also enjoy quality recovery if you know how to recover after swimming.
Fewer chances of sunburn
Exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes sunburn, and prolonged exposure can cause skin conditions such as melanoma. Since the sun is absent in the evening and night, there is nothing to worry about regarding these.
Although the sun is out of the picture in the evenings and nights, there are also some disadvantages associated with swimming this time of the day.
Swimming the dark comes with some risk since you may be unable to see beyond a few meters. It can be more dangerous if you want to attempt open water swimming. Well-lit pools are recommended in the evening or at night for safety.
No lifeguards on duty
It is the evening or night, and lifeguards may be unavailable for duty during these periods. Lifeguards are employed to protect swimmers at the pool or beach. Hence, if you are a beginner, you might want to consider swimming in the afternoon.
For safety, it will make a lot of sense to avoid swimming in the ocean, sea, lake, or other water bodies. They can be unpredictable, giving you less time to react. If you are curious about swimming, go to well-lit pools with someone (a good swimmer).
You can wear a waterproof smartwatch to keep track of your location and in case of any emergency.
Possible sleeping difficulties
Some individuals may experience sleeping difficulties after swimming in the evening or at night. To avoid such situations, you should swim at least an hour before swimming.
Tricky meal timing
The timing of your meal (dinner) may also feel tricky. Some individuals feel awkward about eating before swimming, while others prefer after swimming. Combining some healthy snacks and two light batches of dinner can be advantageous, giving you enough energy and preventing hunger.
Here is a recap of the pros and cons associated with swimming in the morning, afternoon, and evening or night.
|Morning||Afternoon||Evening or Night|
|Lifeguards||May be unavailable||Available||May be unavailable|
|Inclusion in schedule||Might be difficult||Relatively easy||Easy to include|
|Chances of sunburn||Low||High||Low|
|Crowd at public pools||Low||High||Moderate in the evenings, low a night|
|Psychological effect||Refreshes mood; energizes for the day.||Stress-relieving||Stress-relieving but likely sleeping difficulties.|
Several analyses have shown that swimming at the onset of the evening is the best time to swim. Your muscles have been warmed, and your energy metabolism has been increased. Hence, your body is ready for action.
Nevertheless, what works for others may not work for you based on your schedules and your body’s biology. Therefore, you should choose a period that fits perfectly into your daily routine. By now, you should have an idea of your best time to swim. Happy swimming!
Do you have some opinions, or questions regarding this topic? Please forward them to me via the comments section below.
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