Is 70-Degrees Outside Too Cold to Swim?

Deciding whether it’s too cold to swim can be a common concern, especially when outdoor temperatures start to dip. While a 70-degree day might sound inviting, you may be wondering if it’s the right temperature for a comfortable swim.

Is 70 Degrees Outside Too Cold to Swim

In general, the water temperature at 70-degrees and below can be quite chilly and possibly lead to hypothermia without a wetsuit. However, several factors such as your personal tolerance, acclimation, and swimming experience come into play, but most people find 70 degree water to be cool or even chilly. 

In this article, we’ll explore the factors that influence the ideal swimming temperature and provide some practical tips to help you make the most out of your time in the water.

Can You Swim in 70-Degree Weather?

Yes, you can swim in 70-degree weather, but you should be aware of the potential risks associated with swimming in colder water.

While some swimmers may be comfortable in water temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, others might find it too cold. For instance, cold shock can occur in water temperatures below 70 degrees, and the risk increases when the temperature falls below 64 degrees.

Now, if you are an experienced swimmer or familiar with cold water swimming, this might not be a concern for you. However, if this is your first time swimming in colder water, you must take some precautions.

For starters, you should gradually immerse yourself into the water, allowing your body to adjust to the temperature. This will allow you to gauge how your body responds and avoid cold shock.

Keep in mind that swimming in colder water can affect your breathing. When the water temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees, it becomes gradually more difficult to control your breathing due to the body’s reaction to the cold.

Lastly, you may want to consider wearing protective gear such as a wetsuit or a drysuit when swimming in colder water. These can help insulate your body, providing more comfort and reducing the risks associated with cold water swimming.

So, if you’re prepared and take the necessary precautions, you can certainly enjoy swimming in 70-degree weather. However, always remember to listen to your body and stay safe while doing so.

70-Degree Weather vs. 70-Degree Water

When you feel the warmth of a 70-degree day, you might think it’s a great time to go for a swim. However, it’s important to understand that 70-degree air temperature and 70-degree water temperature are two completely different things. The difference in how they feel is due to the conductive properties of water and how our body perceives temperature.

Water is a better conductor of heat than air, so when you hop into 70-degree water, heat escapes from your body much more easily than it would in 70-degree air. This means that even though the air temperature might feel comfortable, the water temperature could be too cold for a pleasant swim.

For most swimmers, it’s generally suggested to wait until the water temperature reaches at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure safety.

However, swimming in 70-degree water might still be too chilly for some people to enjoy the experience. So, even if the air temperature seems perfect, you should test the water to see how it feels before diving in.

Keep in mind that younger children and older adults might need warmer water temperatures, ranging from 84 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas a comfortable pool temperature for adults lies between 85 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re swimming for fitness, cooler temperatures of 78 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit might be more suitable, allowing your body to adjust better during your workout.

What Does 70-Degree Water Feel Like?

When you first plunge into 70-degree water, you might experience a bit of a shock. As mentioned, water conducts heat more efficiently than air, so you’ll feel the temperature difference more intensely than if you were just standing outside in 70-degree air. However, this initial discomfort typically fades as your body adjusts to the water temperature.

As you continue swimming in 70-degree water, you should find it fairly comfortable. It’s not as warm as bathwater or a heated pool, but it’s far from freezing. 

Cold shock can occur in water temperatures below 70 degrees, but the risk increases significantly in water colder than 64 degrees. At 70 degrees, you’re in a relatively safe zone for avoiding cold shock, though you may still notice breathing is a bit labored initially.

For most people, swimming at 70-80 degrees can be enjoyable, especially on a warm day or if you’ve been active before entering the water. Keep in mind that personal preferences and tolerances can vary; some individuals might find this temperature a bit chilly, while others may think it’s perfect.

Do You Need a Wetsuit for 70-Degree Water?

You might be wondering if a wetsuit is necessary when swimming in 70-degree water. In most cases, a wetsuit still isn’t required, but it’s getting close.

Nevertheless, personal preferences and individual comfort levels do vary, which means you may want some extra protection or buoyancy for your swim. If that’s the case, consider opting for a thinner wetsuit that’s suitable for such conditions.

Now, factors such as air temperature and wind can also impact how cold you might feel in 70-degree water. For example, if it’s 55 degrees outside with overcast skies and strong winds, you may feel chilly while swimming. In that case, a 3/2 wetsuit could be a helpful choice, particularly if you’re spending a considerable amount of time in the water.

In closing, while a wetsuit may not be necessary for 70-degree water, it’s worth considering your personal comfort levels and the external factors that could affect your experience. Remember to choose a wetsuit that best fits your needs and suits the water temperature in your chosen swimming location.