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Unadulterated pleasure: bathing fun without unnecessary risks
In summer temperatures, a dip in the cool water ensures a pleasant cooling. Unfortunately, fatal bathing accidents are also regularly reported in the warm season. Many of these accidents could be avoided. Health experts explain how to enjoy bathing without unnecessary risks.
Cooling down in the heat
Be it in the outdoor pool, at the swimming lake or in the sea: In summer temperatures there is hardly anything better than cooling off in the water. But as refreshing as a courageous dip in the cool water is, the Barmer health insurance company especially advises inexperienced swimmers not to jump into the water carelessly. After all, according to the German Life Saving Society (DLRG), more than 500 people drowned in Germany in 2018 alone.
Do not take unnecessary risks
Previous research has shown that many primary school children, in particular, cannot swim. And even some older people can often only keep themselves somewhat afloat.
It can be dangerous. Especially when swimming in unguarded lakes and other waters.
"If you can't swim properly, jump into the water without cooling or don't know the pitfalls of the water, you take unnecessary risks," explains Klaus Möhlendick, sports scientist at Barmer in a message.
But if you do not overestimate yourself and move too far from the shore, there is usually nothing standing in the way of an undisturbed pleasure in the cool water.
Cool before swimming
According to Möhlendick, you should always go slowly into the water and not just jump. Otherwise the blood vessels contract and pump too much blood to the heart in a short time.
This places an excessive load on the right ventricle and can lead to rhythm disturbances. In addition, a reflex is triggered when cold water hits the face, causing the heart rate and blood pressure to drop rapidly.
Experts advise that senior citizens in particular should cool off before taking a bath.
And: “Under no circumstances should you drink alcohol before swimming because it widens the blood vessels. In extreme cases, a cold shock is possible when immersed in the water, even if the water is around 20 degrees warm, ”says Möhlendick.
However, according to health experts, the assumption that a cardiac arrest is at risk of cardiac arrest after jumping into cold water is not true for healthy people.
Declining buoyancy in Germany
The health insurance company points out other dangers when bathing: Many swimmers underestimated the current or suddenly occurring cold zones. You get tired faster and need a lot of energy.
"For this reason too, it makes sense not to go into the water on an empty stomach, but to eat something long before," says Möhlendick.
Especially for inexperienced and senior citizens, who quickly run out of strength, people with heart problems and inexperienced swimmers are not free from swimming fun.
Add to this the declining buoyancy in Germany. According to the DLRG, around 60 percent of ten-year-olds are not safe swimmers.
"If you can swim badly or not, regardless of age, you should never go into the water alone or unsupervised," advises the Barmer expert. (ad)