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Anyone tried swimming to increase fitness/strength?

Hi I had the great idea of starting swimming again to try to increase my fitness. I used to be a strong swimmer but to that was a long long time ago and about the only swimming I’ve done has been in a pool when on holiday.

I’ve just come back from my local baths, I had planned an hour but had to bale out after 20 mins. Luckily they do a coached swim so I did have an instructor watching what I was doing. Why I was suprised when he told me I wasn’t using my legs I’ll never know. So that was me swimming with a float just using my legs . I never knew how far 25 meters was! after 20 minutes I was fading rapidly and got out. The instructor was encouraging but has not come across anyone else with MS, I suppose I just want to know I’m not setting myself up to fail.

Has anyone else tried swimming and got any better at it?

Den

Hello there i hope your like me and you will persivere the tiredness fatigue that you get after swimming i started out just like you swimming meant getting in the water i now go swimming regular and my fatigue is way better i feel fitter in myself happier that i can do something and ive made lots of new friends at the same time and there has been a lot of research about this matter good luck xx

Hi Denny!

Excellent news- Good on ya!

Whilst endurance running is my ‘thing’, I still do go swimming, as it is the perfect aerobic exercise and it’s still a tough work out for me.

Just remember, don’t expect to be able to cover that many laps of a 25M pool to begin with, because with your body supported by the water, you are working every muscle of your body, without knowing it. I have, on occasion, left the pool, returned home and almost immediately fell asleep in the chair.

Sambo is absolutely right. Your stamina in the pool will definitely improve over time.

Keep up the good work- well done!

Tracyannx

I swam regularly for years after diagnosis and I believe it helped slow down my physical deterioration. My swimming improved but in the end it was the walking to the changing room and the getting changed that did for me. I do other exercise now but I look back on my swimming with pleasure. I’d say go for it, swimming definitely won’t do you any harm and it may do you lots of good. People with MS see more benefits from exercise than the general population, as long as they don’t get too hot while they do it and therefore swimming is a perfect activity for MSers who can do it.

Good on ye Denny - I have started back to the gym (few weights and exercise bike) plus I go for a swim after - only do about 4 lengths (100m) but i do feel the benefit of it - remember when your doing anything, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch…core strength improves through time and perserverence…

Hi Den - I go to Aquafit. I used to go 3 times a week. But I had to park the car quite a way from the entrance at one place. I now go once a week. I struggle to walk after the class as my left leg just won’t work and I drag it along. I lost my balance and fell on to a tiled floor in March, hitting my head very badly, and so decided that was the sign and gave it up. I missed it so much, I felt my legs, walking etc were getting so much worse - so I tried agin. I have been ‘adopted’ by a very kind lady who helps me walk into the pool,out to the changing rooms, gets my clothes and then helps me to my car which I can park just outside the entrance. I can swim to start with and then do the class - at my own pace for about 45 mins. I cannot swim to the side afterwards (it is shallow enough to walk) as my left leg will not work - feels really heavy. I feel so much better for making the effort (and it is an effort) - and hope to keep going for as long as possible. when it is not feasble there is a hydrotherapy pool especially adapted for disabled 20 miles away - so i may try that when the time comes. I try to keep going as much as possible and have now started yoga to see if that helps. Like you I feel that doing some kind of exercise should help my MS - but it is a fine line between exercising and doing too much - i find it difficult to judge - and no-one else can tell you. I have PPMS (although dxd as benign) and have just got so, so much worse in the last year. I am waiting to see a consultant to get another diagnosis as I have not seen a neuro consultant since 2007. I hope you continue with your swimming and that you can improve. I think to enjoy as much as you can is the best attitude to life, as we don’t know what knocks lie ahead of us. enjoy and take care. Jackie x

i go swimming mon-thu, not as strong a swimmer as i use to be, and i now time myself so i dont tire to much after, has it made me stronger i think so , however the company in the morning is the best therapy as we have a gab and many a joke at life, I can wake in the morning feel lousy but a half hour in their company and i am set up for the day, so go for it.

trish

Hi All

Thanks so much for your replies, they are a great help. It’s encouraging that so many of you have tried and succeeded even in the face of setbacks.

I’ve only got one more visit to the pool before I go away. I’ll make the most of that and I’ve even bought a float so I can continue to excercise my legs while I’m away.

Thanks again for all your encouragement and good luck to everyone.

Den x

Hi Dan,

I went swimming and used one of the long thin floats so I only used my legs.

Felt I was doing really well until a 4 year old overtook me!!

Have fun

Jen x

Hi, I go swimming and love it, I use my walker to get to pool and then the attendant keeps it to side until I need it. I brought my 4 year old with me yesterday. Psychologically it was fab,great fun and a sense of independance,my 4 year old loved the whole experience and I had warned her beforehand that she would have to be good and help because we wouldn’t be able to go again if it didn’t work out…she was fantastic… In addition to the exercise it was so beneficial on so many fronts…bonding,fun,independence,educational,…afterwards when my daughter had dressed herself she looked really pleased with herself and said with a big smile ’ I managed all by myself’! Definitely a weekly event.

Hi, I go swimming and love it, I use my walker to get to pool and then the attendant keeps it to side until I need it. I brought my 4 year old with me yesterday. Psychologically it was fab,great fun and a sense of independance,my 4 year old loved the whole experience and I had warned her beforehand that she would have to be good and help because we wouldn’t be able to go again if it didn’t work out…she was fantastic… In addition to the exercise it was so beneficial on so many fronts…bonding,fun,independence,educational,…afterwards when my daughter had dressed herself she looked really pleased with herself and said with a big smile ’ I managed all by myself’! Definitely a weekly event.

I find that swimming, running, stretching or any excercise is great, makes me feel loose and mentally is also very good

Hi, I was a strong swimmer and loved it before dx. I tried again a couple of months ago and the right had side didn’t work at all so couldn’t use my legs. I only managed 1 length in a 15 metre pool. Got very diheartend and did not try again after a couple of visits. Also found that it wiped me out. Have read all your posts and now feel I was exepcting to get in the pool and bash out 70 lengths in 40 minutes like I used to! How silly was that. I loved to swim and miss the feeling of pushing off the side and feeling yourself propelled through the water. I will have to try again I think and not expect so much of myself! I used to do gym 3 times a week and swim as well. Now my exercise is virtually nil. You lot are so supportive and understanding maybe I will try again. Linda x

Hi, keep moving in water - any limb movement helps with mobility when back on land. I have always enjoyed swimming , it is the best activity I manage now although limp more after a good swim .I know others with ms too that do varying amounts of swimming.

All the best

Jaycee ( new to the forum )

Hi, keep moving in water - any limb movement helps with mobility when back on land. I have always enjoyed swimming , it is the best activity I manage now although limp more after a good swim .I know others with ms too that do varying amounts of swimming.

All the best

Jaycee ( new to the forum )

Hi dan. My. Neurologist told me to swim even if I only walk through the water it will help my co’ordination, as she said she can’t give me a tablet for my balance problem, joined a gym with pool last tues, 1st time in dreadfull couldn’t even make my legs move whilst trying to do front crawl, and then dragging my right leg back to the changing room while holding on to the wall thinking not a good idea, been twice since & Sunday did a full length with legs moving all the way, and more, plus got back to changing with stick without tripping. Off to Marbella end of week will be every day in pool or sea or both. Lol

Sorry said front crawl, meant breaststroke, wanted to make my legs do the frog thing but they just stayed straight and mad me sink. Ha