Is it safe to go swimming right now?

If you’re a regular gym-goer or class doer, you may be feeling increasingly anxious about your exercise regime.

After all, for many of us exercise goes way beyond a simple act of movement; it’s as a way to let off steam – helping us stay calm under pressure. With the coronavirus pandemic picking up the pace, however, going to the gym may not feel like the best option. It’s fair to say that lots of gyms will be taking precautions to keep their equipment sterile but if you are worried about lying on mats or touching weights other people have used, your workout is going to be overshadowed by anxieties.

The one communal exercising space that you might want to head down to, however, is your local pool.

Swimming pools actually tend to be pretty bug-free thanks to the chemicals in the water.

The Pool Water Treatment and Advisory Group (PWTAG) says: ‘Public health opinion is that it is generally safe to go swimming at this time.

‘Water and the chlorine within swimming pools will help to kill the virus.

‘However, visitors to swimming pools are reminded to shower before using the pool, to shower on leaving the pool and to follow the necessary hygiene precautions when visiting public places to help reduce the risk of infection.’

The World Health Organisation sets chlorination targets at a level much higher than is required to kill viruses like Covid-19. In a report on Water Sanitation Health, the WHO details 15 cases of viral outbreaks in swimming pools – nine of which were linked to improper or inadequate chlorination. It recommends a chlorination level of 15mg.min/litre – which is enough to kill most viruses.

The key, as the pool people say, is to maintain superb hygiene in the pool building.

That means showering before and after swimming, disinfecting your hands after you’ve pushed and pulled door handles or touched your locker and washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you get back home.

Oh, and make sure that you wash your kit and towels at a high heat too. It’s generally said that 60’c is necessary to kill bugs.

Stay calm, keep moving and maybe start swimming. Better still, check out your local lido for some fresh air wholesome activity. That way, you’ve got sun, greenery and more air for any coughs and splutters to dispense in the wind!

If you feel under the weather, don’t push on and don’t head to said lido just because there’s more of a breeze. There’s never been a better excuse for chilling at home if you’ve got a cold so if you feel at all unwell, stay put. Otherwise, see you in the pool!

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