Can You Still Swim During a Heat Advisory?

Weather experts advise when people will likely face harm if they fail to observe the necessary heat precautions. Once a heat advisory is given, you should stay indoors, wear light clothes and drink lots of water. Since swimming is an excellent way to cool off when it’s hot, you may wonder, can you still swim during a heat advisory?

You can swim during a heat advisory. However, it is wise to swim early in the morning or later in the evening and drink lots of water while at it. Swimming during the day when it’s too hot may result in heat strokes.

Do you want to learn more about heat waves and heat advisories? If you do, continue reading. I’ll tell you how extreme heat affects the body, how you can stay safe during heat waves, and how to ensure your swimming trip is as safe as possible.

swimming during a hot day may cause heat strokes
Thermometer on summer day showing high temperature near 45 degrees

What Happens to the Human Body During a Heat Wave?

During an extreme heat wave, people can have all kinds of reactions. In extreme cases, a person’s blood pressure can drop, leading to: 

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

Other people may experience only mild discomfort. These discomforts can come in the form of heat rashes, sun burns, excessive sweating, or swelling (particularly of the feet). 

Unfortunately, for others, the more serious symptoms can progress, resulting in heart attacks, heat strokes, or even death. Research done by the CDC reports around 700 heat-related deaths in the U.S. annually.

All of these symptoms occur because of the effects extreme heat has on the body. In its normal state, your body takes care of all kinds of functions that you never have to worry about consciously. These functions include:

  • Breathing
  • Keeping your heart beating
  • Circulating blood through the body
  • Digesting food

Additionally, your body regulates its temperature to the famous 98.6 °F (37 °C). Just as your heart pumps faster when you overexert yourself, your body also has to work harder to keep a steady temp in extreme weather conditions. 

When there’s a heat advisory, your body gets hotter and hotter. That causes your blood vessels to expand, and all the other symptoms follow.

How To Enjoy Swimming During a Heat Wave

If you insist on taking a swim despite receiving an advisory, various tips can help you keep safe.

Stay Hydrated

While swimming, have water by your side all day long. Constantly drink water since it will help keep your body cool. Drinking water will allow your body to cool itself. If you sweat, your body will not strain as long as you stay hydrated. If you sweat more than you consume, however, your body will start reacting badly.

Take a Break

While swimming, remember to take breaks constantly. Take the time to cool down with some water under a shady spot. Find trees or a big umbrella, and plop a big, floppy hat on your head.  

Have someone help you reapply your sun protection, and don’t be afraid to cover up with loose clothing instead of staying exposed to the sun. When you use the breaks, you’ll not need to worry about getting burnt or dehydrated. 

Avoid Prolonged Sun Exposure

The sun is at its peak between 10 a.m and 4 p.m. The sun’s rays are so intense. During this time, you can acquire injuries from the UV rays. 

Once you’re done swimming, go back indoors. Don’t lay under the sun for long durations. Consider swimming in the morning or evening. 

During this time, the heat is minimal. You’ll not have to worry about how long you can spend your time swimming.

How To Stay Safe in Heat Wave

During a heat wave, work towards keeping yourself safe. Being safe will protect you from experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above.

Take Shelter

Humans have created lots of great things over the centuries, and houses with indoor air conditioning are some of the best of those things. If a heat wave is coming your way, take advantage of your air-conditioned home! 

In other words, stay inside

Exposure to the heat affects your body. Therefore, if getting too hot can lead to death, it’s best to avoid getting too hot. Being indoors where it’s nice and cool is your best defense against a heat wave.

Wear Thin and Light Clothes

If you must leave the house, dress carefully to minimize exposure and maximize coolness. Contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean wearing fewer clothes. 

Instead, ensure your body is adequately covered in loose, light clothing. Doing so will ensure your skin isn’t absorbing too much direct sun, and any breeze blowing is going to feel much nicer ruffling your flowy clothes than something skintight. 

Also remember to cover up when you’re taking your breaks by the pool.

Use Fans

Using fans will help you cool off.  If you can, use the small fans to help circulate air and avoid putting too much pressure on your HVAC system. This will make your stay in the house comfortable. 

Don’t be embarrassed about buying small, personal fans either. I couldn’t survive the summer’s heat without my neck fan. Use them while you’re sitting around the side of the pool taking your breaks and enjoying your water.

Drink Lots of Water

During a heat wave, you’ll definitely sweat a lot. As your blood strains to keep you cool, you lose a lot of water through sweating. 

Therefore, it would be best if you drank lots of water so that you don’t sweat more liquid than you consume.

Avoid Alcohol

Lots of people like to enjoy a refreshing cocktail while hanging out at the pool. Unfortunately, that isn’t safe during a heat advisory. 

Whether you’re inside or hanging out around the pool, don’t drink alcohol during a heat wave. It will make you dehydrated and exhausted. It will hinder the body from effectively shielding itself from the excess heat.

Following this and all of the above tips will help you survive during a crisis. It’s also wise to share the information with others. Sharing is caring. 

if you swim during a heat advisory swim in the morning or evening


If you want to swim during a heat advisory, ensure you do so before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. You must also wear light clothing, drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol. Most importantly, you should adhere to the advisory if you want to avoid severe illness resulting from heat waves.