swimming pool 30-minute ruleMoms kept saying this when we were kids. “Don’t go in the pool yet. You just ate!” We were supposed to wait 30 minutes. To this day, I look at my watch before even going near a swimming pool. But is this necessary? Is it fact or fiction?

FICTION – For Recreational Swimmers

If you were ever a naughty child and disobeyed mom, you don’t have to worry. There’s more fiction than fact in the 30-minute rule.

The swimming rule need not apply when you and your child are just going to the pool for a dip. Recreational swimming isn’t strenuous. So the medical reasoning behind the rule will not affect you and your child. When you swim as a form of exercise, that’s when you need a gap of at least an hour before you go into the water.

The swimming rule is based on what happens in our stomach immediately after we eat. In order to digest food, blood flows into the stomach. This allows our bodies to process the food and absorb its nutrients.

FACT – For Exercise Swimmers

However, when you swim for exercise, you need to have a good amount of blood flowing through your muscles. Otherwise, you’ll experience cramping. This is why you shouldn’t swim immediately after eating. Give it at least an hour. Plus, it’s very uncomfortable to swim with a full stomach anyway.

So, if you’re ever around the pool just to have fun, splash about and cool off, go ahead. You don’t have to worry about the 30-minute swimming rule. Just make sure everyone’s at a safe depth and that you’ve got your suntan on. Have fun!