Exercise is a great way to help maintain strength and endurance in order to better take care of your physical well-being. There are countless varieties of exercise trends and routines, but traditional exercise isn’t always the best fit for everyone, especially individuals with MS, due to the increased physical demand and rising body temperature. Research conducted over the years has suggested that aquatic exercise is an effective way for individuals with MS to improve their flexibility, fatigue levels, and (most importantly) their quality of life and psychological well-being.
Take, for example, the way aquatic exercise has affected Mandy Iris. “I can swim as angry as I want. I can be as sad as I want, but it all just seems to melt away every time I jump out of the pool. I feel better. It’s invigorating, it makes you feel alive,” says Mandy. Spending time in the pool and swimming a few laps, or just walking around in the pool can not only help strengthen your muscles, but allows you the time and space to clear your mind.
If you are looking to try aquatic exercise for yourself, and you’ve discussed this with you doctor or physical therapist, here are a few of tips for finding the right facility for you:
- Location – Find a facility within a reasonable driving distance or that you can get to using public transportation.
- Safety and Accessibility – Make sure that you are able to easily move about the facility and pool deck. Also, be sure that you will be able to get in and out of the pool with ease.
- Classes – If it interests you, see if the facility offers any aquatic exercise classes you can attend.
- Schedule – Find a facility or a program that works with your schedule, including work, child care, and personal preferences.
You can find more tips, resources, and inspiration to get started on MSAA’s Swim for MS Online Aquatic Center at: aquatics.mymsaa.org/aquatic-exercise/