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Stay Safe During Open Water Swims

Stay Safe During Open Water SwimsIn Hampton Roads, we’re lucky to have access to the Atlantic Ocean off our beautiful beaches. For avid swimmers, the ocean presents a unique challenge and workout. But swimming in open water is not without its risks.

Whether you’ve participated in open-water swimming before or are looking to add it to your workout routine, review these safety tips before getting in the water.

Swim Well With Others

If you have an emergency in the water, you need support fast. You should be sure to swim with a group or a partner so someone is always there to help. If you can’t swim with a partner, be sure to swim when lifeguards are on duty.

Wear the Right Attire

Specialized wetsuits can help you stay warm and buoyant in open ocean water. Before making a open-water swimming a hobby, consider investing in these suits.

You should also get a bright, neon-colored swim cap so that boaters (and lifeguards) can spot you easily. You can also consider a pull buoy to make you more visible and to give you something to hold onto if you have an emergency or simply need a break.

Pay Attention to Ocean Forecasts

Even the strongest swimmers can be taken down by a riptide. Pay attention to ocean forecasts and avoid swimming on red flag days. You should also avoid the water if a storm is coming.

In case you miss the forecast, you should always know what to do in case of a riptide. If you get pulled into a current, don’t fight it; ride it. The current may pull you out to sea, but simply float with it until it weakens. Once you feel it grow weaker, swim sideways out of the current and head back toward shore.

Know Your Route

Don’t ask too much of yourself in your first open-water swims. Plan a safe, shorter route and know the markers on land or buoys in the water that will guide you. Try to choose an area with low boat traffic as boats don’t often keep an eye out for swimmers. Ask other swimmers in the area about their favorite routes to get an idea of great places to go.

Be Prepared

You need to be physically and mentally prepared for an open-water swim. It’s going to take more out of you than a swim in a pool that doesn’t have waves, currents, or tides. Be sure your body and technique are strong enough before heading out to sea.

At Bon Secours In Motion Sports Performance, we offer personalized conditioning plans for athletes of all ages and from all sports, including swimming. Contact us today to work with expert trainers.