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Pool Indoor Air Quality: Why It Matters to Your Health and Performance

There’s a reason why many people love to swim. It’s a simple, effective way to tone and strengthen muscles – and for the most part, you’ll avoid injuries that come with more intense exercises. However, unless you’ve decided to train outside, you’ve likely become exposed to chemicals that exist in indoor pool centers.

Here’s how this problem affects your health and performance as an athlete.

Why Does This Happen?

It’s important to note that it’s not only chlorine that causes air quality issues. By itself, it can kill harmful germs – and that’s why we use it for our pools. A chemical reaction happens when swimmers carry specific substances into the water, like sunscreen, urine and sweat. Chlorine binds with these elements to create harmful chemical compounds like chloramine, trichloramine and dichloramine.

You can spend an entire day at an outdoor pool without any concerns since there’s no roof to keep the air trapped inside. On the other hand, anyone indoors may feel a bit sick. It’s especially likely for these ailments to happen if a pool doesn’t have proper ventilation to circulate fresh air into the area. An inadequate HVAC system can’t eliminate those harsh compounds.

How Are Swimmers Affected?

Those who visit indoor pools experience prominent side effects that can impact their health. These symptoms often include irritated skin, red eyes and itchy noses. Many swimmers have gone to the hospital due to poor air quality. At the very least, you’ll probably have to leave the pool if you feel sick. This experience takes away from your workout.

You may deal with other health risks if you continue to expose yourself to poor indoor air quality. You shouldn’t be overly concerned about these issues unless you work for an indoor pool since you’ll spend long periods there. However, it’s still important to consider how often you frequent your favorite facility. You can better protect your health this way.

What You Can Do to Avoid Poor Air Quality

It’s up to pool owners and operators to design systems and procedures to keep their guests safe. These steps include increased outdoor air circulation and improved chlorine levels. As a swimmer, you can do your part to keep yourself and others healthy. You should always take a quick shower to remove sweat and other body waste. It’s also smart to use the restroom before you swim.

You can also alternate your time between an indoor and outdoor pool when possible. Otherwise, try not to spend too much time inside. If you start to feel sick, it’s best to head home for the day. This way, you can limit your exposure to chloramine and any other harmful compounds that may be present.

Stay Safe When You Swim Indoors

Almost every swimmer has experienced these effects firsthand. It’s crucial to protect yourself when you swim indoors so you don’t compromise your health or performance as an athlete. Use this information and these tips to stay safe.