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Myth Busting: Is It Safe to Swim After Eating?

eating-to-swimAt EVO’s Queen Creek swim school, we often overhear the same words of warning from protective parents and caretakers: “You just ate! Wait a few minutes before you get in the pool.” But is their sage advice accurate after all? Let’s see if they’re sharing facts or fiction.

There are two common concerns about eating before swimming:

1. You won’t be able to swim as strongly.

FICTION

Blood flows to your digestive tract after eating, so many people think this takes away blood flow to your arms and legs, and inhibits your ability to swim. According to Mark Messick, MD, a family doctor with Duke Primary Care, “The body does supply extra blood to aid in digestion, but not enough blood to keep your arm and leg muscles from properly functioning.”

2. You’ll get a stomach cramp.

IT DEPENDS

This one could be true, but the stomach aches and cramps are likely due to strenuous activity, not the fact that you’re swimming after eating. As long as you listen to your body and don’t push yourself too far, this shouldn’t be an issue.

So, while there is a relationship between eating and exercise, having a snack or meal before jumping in the pool is perfectly safe, and it may even help you. For the best results, doctors recommend eating a healthy snack that has both carbohydrates and protein 2-3 hours before swimming. If you swim first thing in the morning, be sure to have a small snack — even if it’s not a full breakfast — to fuel your workout and burn as many calories as possible. Also remember to drink water before and after swimming to stay hydrated.

For now, we can consider this myth (mostly) busted. For more information about water safety or lessons at our Queen Creek swim school, call EVO at 480-539-2660.

EVO Staff Spotlight: Site Manager Frank Haraskin

Frank HaraksinEVO recently welcomed a new Site Manager to our North Gilbert swim school. We sat down with Frank Haraskin to learn more about him and help our students get to know him better, too. Next time you visit our North Gilbert location, be sure to stop by and say hello to Frank!

EVO: Hi, Frank. Welcome to the team! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Frank: I’m from California originally and relocated with my family to Arizona. EVO was actually my first job! I swam here and then became a staff member during the summers. Now, I’m a Site Manager, which means I’m responsible for day-to-day operations including customer service, working closely with staff in the water and in the office, maintaining the facility’s supplies and pool chemicals, and teaching lessons. Site Managers also work weekly with the owner, David, to build on our program and improve it at every opportunity.

EVO: We’re thankful for that! So far, what’s your favorite part of working here?

Frank: There are quite a few things I love about working at Evo.

The first is teaching the kids. It’s what I started doing at this company, and there is nothing quite like coaching a child from not being able to swim at all, to being safe in their own backyard pool. Since David brought me to work in the office as well, I’ve been taking pride in working with parents to help them find a way to fit lessons into their always-changing schedules.

I also love staying busy. I ran a radio station in college, I was a Resident Assistant and a Hall Director, held several positions on the student senate including Vice President, and worked as a tutor five days a week. I loved the work, all the different people, all the problems I helped solve, and the decisions I helped to make. EVO is like all of that rolled into one; there’s always something new right around the corner.

EVO: What’s your fondest swimming memory?

Frank: The high school state meet of my senior year was the best meet I ever had. I didn’t win anything, though I placed higher than I was supposed to. My team placed the highest it had in years, and for a competitive swimmer who was never the fastest or strongest, it felt good to walk away from my last meet knowing it was my best.

EVO: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?

Frank: In my free time, I watch a lot of movies. The new Bond film is the 1,582nd movie I’ve seen since I started keeping count eight years ago. I’ve seen every Best Picture winner except for Tom Jones, and I’ve read two of Roger Ebert’s books on the best films ever made. Movies fascinate me! In two hours or less, they try to tell a story that people can feel, as well as see and hear.

EVO: Wow, you’ll be our go-to guy for movie recommendations! Thanks for sharing, and we’re looking forward to having you as part of our Gilbert swim school team.