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Monday, January 13, 2014

Leaning Towards Being Waterlogged

Swimming for more than an hour in the open water takes stamina and endurance, especially when it is done in the ocean, at high altitudes or in extreme temperatures.

But even with all that stamina and endurance, why is it that some open water swimmers can look a bit softer and a bit swollen and waterlogged after a long race or workout when they get out of the water? The effect goes away quickly enough, but it is still noticeable after a swim.

Before they take the plunge, many open water swimmers appear to be the epitome of health with a typical swimmer’s physique: wide shoulders tapering down to narrow hips and strong legs.

The quick answer is that the body naturally swells from prolonged exposure to salt or brackish water. As a result, their bodies appear bloated when they exit the water, especially when the swimmers are in the water for over an hour.

Physiologically there is a phenomenon called third spacing that can also cause the open water swimmer’s body to appear waterlogged or swollen. This third spacing can be caused by a loss of electrolytes. In turn, this results in extracellular fluids going out of the blood vessels and into the skin tissue that normally is not perfused with fluids. Third spacing occurs in the brain, lungs, abdomen and extremities when fluid is trapped in the interstitial spaces.

The third spacing effect becomes even more noticeable with an increase in water salinity and the duration of exposure.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

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The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

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