Many times when I suggest lap swimming to clients as a great fitness practice (Lap it Up!), they quickly come back with “I can’t take the chlorine.” I understand the concern because exposure to chlorine (whether topical, airborne or ingested in drinking water) poses many health risks. I do everything I can to avoid and minimize my body’s intake of it by using excellent water filters for drinking water & bathing, and cleaning my home with chlorine-free products.
More and more aquatic centers and health clubs are using saltwater pools, a healthy and more enjoyable alternative to chlorinated and chemically treated water. While this is my first choice of pool to do my lap swimming in, it’s not currently an option for me in my area.
I’ve found a way to reap the great benefits of swimming and reduce the chlorine effects with an easy and effective technique: applying food grade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to your skin after your post-swim shower. This will neutralize the chlorine and greatly reduce the chlorine odor left on your skin.
(Before using this technique, do a test application to see if your skin sensitivity will allow you to safely do this. Test by putting 1 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide on your forearm and rub it in until dry. Let it rest for 1 minute. If the area begins to turn red or tingle intensely, wash area with warm soapy water and do not use this technique.)
What you’ll need:
– A spray bottle
– Food grade hydrogen peroxide (usually in a brown bottle), found in drugstores and supermarkets
Fill spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide. Take your post-swim shower and towel off lightly. Spray a film of hydrogen peroxide over each arm and upper torso. Spread the peroxide over all of the sprayed areas with your hands, using a light touch. Spray lower torso, buttocks and legs then rub in peroxide with hands. Avoid spraying your face and hair. Allow the peroxide to do its job by waiting 2 minutes (your skin may begin to tingle slightly) before doing a quick rinse-off shower. Towel dry and dress.
Your skin will thank you (as will the rest of your body) for reducing the effects of chlorine exposure and you won’t radiate a cleaning product aroma wherever you go.
No more excuses…get in the pool!