Now that summer is in full swing, are you looking for alternative ways to stay cool while getting in some exercise? Head to the pool! Swimming and other water-based exercise can help with many symptoms of MS, including loss of mobility, balance and coordination, as well as fatigue. And the cool temperature of water can help prevent overheating, which can worsen MS symptoms.
Even if you’re not confident in your swimming abilities or you just don’t like dunking your head underwater, there are plenty of other ways to exercise in the pool. Many fitness centers and area municipal pools offer aquatic classes including water aerobics, walking, and aquatic treadmill.
Swimming is an aerobic activity, so it’s good for your heart and your muscles. Here are more reasons why you should consider giving swimming a try:
- Buoyancy: Water supports 90% of a person’s body weight, reducing joint stress, pain, and fear of falling
- Resistance: Water-based exercise builds muscle and enhances stability, flexibility, and balance
- Pressure: Swimming allows the heart to work with less stress, reducing swelling and pain in lower extremities
- Temperature: Water transfers heat energy more efficiently than air, which can help moderate body temperature
- Overall Wellness: Socializing at the pool, having fun, and relating to other individuals can have psychological benefits.
Find more tips, resources, and inspiration to get started on MSAA’s Swim for MS Online Aquatic Center at aquatics.mymsaa.org and check out our Aquatic Exercise and MS – Tip Sheet.