Wasserwacht advises seniors to cool off before bathing
The sunny weather invites you to swim. But a hasty jump into cool water can be a considerable burden for the circulation. Seniors in particular should always cool off well before bathing, reports the news agency "dpa", citing Michael Reil from the Bavarian Water Guard.
Swimming in the lake or outdoor pool as a form of physical exercise generally has a positive effect on the organism and cooling is also very convenient for the body in the hot weather. However, the latter should not be done too suddenly, as otherwise serious cardiovascular complications and, in the worst case, even a heart attack could occur. The expert at the Wasserwacht Bayern therefore advises senior citizens in particular to cool down thoroughly before bathing, for example by holding their hands and feet in the water for a while.
Jumping into cold water is a considerable strain on the circulatory system. To put it simply, it can be stated that with increasing temperature difference between body and water temperature, the stress on the cardiovascular system increases when immersed. Extremely hot outside temperatures cause the body to heat up, which increases the risk of cardiovascular problems when bathing. Those who lie in the sun for a long time or engage in physical activities in the midday sun and then jump straight into the lake put the functionality of their cardiovascular system to the test.
Cool well and no alcohol before bathing. According to Michael Reil, seniors who have been doing a lot of sport and run the risk of overestimating themselves at a higher age are particularly at risk from cardiovascular problems when bathing. Caution should be exercised here for everyone. An occasional fitness test by a doctor can also be helpful in order to correctly assess your own constitution or the resilience of the cardiovascular system. In general, “Water sports are only safe and relaxing if you can assess your own skills and know your limits,” explains the Wasserwacht Bayern on its website. Certain bathing rules also apply to all bathers, which should minimize the risk. For example, the water rescue advises not to swim on a full stomach and not to drink alcohol beforehand, as this widens the blood vessels and increases the risk of cardiovascular problems when immersed in cold water.
In the past two weeks, several bathers have been killed in the Bavarian lakes, including senior citizens. It is not clear from the reports whether a failure of their cardiovascular functions was actually the cause of death, but the warnings of the Wasserwacht Bayern should be taken seriously. (fp)
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