The Thrill of The Chill: Swimming During the Winter

For most people, winter is the time of year when they head indoors for their exercise. Why should you have to stop swimming outside because of the weather changing? The Houstonian pools are heated to the same temperatures year-round, so it is only the air temperature and humidity that change. 
Those who plunge into the Sports Pool’s 80̊ F water for the first time often experience several new sensations. For example, it is common for the water temperature to feel uncomfortably cool for the first few minutes of your swim. To mitigate this, your body will acclimatize to the temperature. After getting into the pool, ease into swimming some laps for a few minutes and note how the water temperature seems to get more comfortable. The pool’s water temperature is not changing, your body is adapting. Some people find that getting into the pool, followed by sitting on the edge for a minute (intentionally getting chilly), and then re-entering the pool speeds up their acclimatization. While the thought of the water may seem challenging, if you get into a pool that feels warm and comfortable upon entry, it is already too hot for vigorous exercise. Warmer waters are usually dedicated to stretching, therapy, and youth swim lessons. 
How often is it safe to swim when it is cold outside? The answer is simple: as much as you like! While you probably won't want to go for a swim outside every day, three to four times a week will produce fitness benefits. Start your swimming sessions before the air gets chilly in Houston. This will help you adapt more quickly to the cooler weather. Get involved in the Houstonian Club’s Adult SwimFit group which offers fourteen complimentary swim classes every week. Why not join the action with them? You can learn from the coaches while making new friends. In the end, it is more fun to take the plunge together. 
With the potential fitness benefits, swimming outside in the winter at The Houstonian Club has a lot to offer!  
The Houstonian Club’s monthly aquatics schedule is posted on the Houstonian app (under the ‘Aquatics’ tab) and on If you are not sure how to access the aquatics schedule, please contact Lead Swim Coach Kalvin Spells at He will help you access the schedule and determine which classes may be a good fit. Coach Spells is also available for private instruction.
By Erica Meyer, Aquatics Director