Warm Water vs Cold Water: Which is Better for Swimming?
swimming pool water - warm vs cold

When you’re swimming in your swim spa or pool, you usually want warmer water. It feels nice and is immediately relaxing for your muscles. Cold water can make you tense up until you get used to the cooler temperature. But when you’re in your spa or pool to swim or relax, which is better? In the debate of warm water vs. cold water, there’s not a clear answer on what temperature you should keep your heated swim spa at.

Warm Water vs. Cold Water

Your body immediately reacts to stepping in water whether you notice it or not. Water affects your body’s internal temperature and causes blood vessels to loosen or tighten up to keep blood at the proper temperature. Warm and cold water change the body differently, offering different pros and cons.

A pool is usually somewhere between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s just right. A swim spa is usually whatever temperature you make it. A cold swim spa or pool would be anything less than 78 degrees, and warm if it’s over 82. Once it gets below 70 degrees or above 88, you’re entering an extreme temperature. Neither extreme is good for swimming. However, extreme temperatures do have benefits for someone who is calmly bathing in moderation.

Effects of Swimming in Cold Water

When you step into cold water, your blood vessels open up to let more blood flow through your body to heat you up. Your body then starts to slowly close your blood vessels back to where they were over time. This works to test your body’s ability to maintain your core body temperature. Having this happen as your swimming forces your body to work twice as hard, helping you get even better exercise.

This also improves your body’s immune system. Your body creates white blood cells in response to the change in temperature, which in turn builds up your body’s defense. Do this regularly, and your body will have more white blood cells for protection, and be better at making more.

In the long term, you’ll also feel a difference as you swim in cold water. While the exercise itself strengthens the body, you’ll send a greater increase in energy than if you swim in medium or warm water.

Even if you’re not exercising, cold water triggers the release of endorphins throughout your body. Endorphins are chemicals that your body releases in response to pain and stress to improve your mood. In simpler terms, your body creates them to make you feel good, so while you may feel a shiver when you jump in, odds are it will be a happy shiver.

Effects of Swimming in Warm Water

Stepping into warm water increases your body’s temperature, making you sweat faster and more, though you may not notice. While this may make exercising in warm water seem attractive, it can actually be dangerous. Because it makes you sweat, and you’re not likely to notice when you’re sweating versus when you’re wet, it’s easy to suddenly become dehydrated or overexerted.

This means warm water is only safe for leisurely swims or some light playing around. Playing a game of volleyball or Marco Polo isn’t going to put most people at risk. It’s swimming laps in warm water for extended periods of time that’s risky.

But, when you’re not exercising, warm water relaxes your muscles, making you feel tired. This makes it perfect for when you’re looking to relax with a nice soak.

When Should You Make Your Heated Swim Spa or Pool Warm or Cold?

Whether or not you should make your swimming pool’s water warm or cold depends on what you plan to do. If your pool is going to be a place where you exercise, it’s better to keep it on the colder side. The health benefits will help your exercise regimen, and help you see better results overall.

Warm water is better for more social events. Most people don’t want to play in cold water and the dangers of dehydration are low when you’re not rigorously exercising.

Get a Heated Swim Spa or Pool From Aqua Leisure Pools & Spas

If you’re looking for a swim spa or pool that will be as warm or as cold as you need it, Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas have the right options for you. You can directly and quickly control the temperature of a swim spa with the push of a few buttons, and you can use it all year. If you want to prepare for the spring, you can pick out a heated swimming pool that perfectly suits your needs. For whatever you need in pools and spas, contact us today.