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.
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
– John F. Kennedy
Exercise. Honestly, we know that not everyone likes to do it. The idea of exercising can make some of us cringe at times, but it plays such a crucial part in our health. We hear it constantly from all sources; the media and our doctors. We know exercise can be good for us, yet sometimes we resent it and try to avoid it at all costs.
So how can we warm up to the idea of making exercise a part of our regular routine? Here are some ideas to make exercise a little more bearable…and maybe even fun!
*Please remember to consult with your physician before taking on a new exercise routine*
- Exercise during the part of the day when you feel you have the most energy
- One key word: moderation. Don’t overexert yourself; exercise at your own pace
- Exercise with a friend or relative; this can make the time more enjoyable and fun
- Listening to music while you exercise can be relaxing and entertaining
- Pick an exercise that you enjoy; take a walk around your neighborhood, do water aerobics, take a dance class, practice yoga…
What are some ideas that you have to make exercise enjoyable?