Living Like You | How swimming can help MS symptoms

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Person with MS diving into the sea

I find that, throughout the summer, I experience more fatigue and exhaustion than in other months. In short: I feel lousy. Everyone wants to cool off and ice-cream doesn’t always help. There is one solution for many people: swimming pools. 

When I first started, I swam for 20 minutes at a time, and it was really helpful. My body started to feel almost normal, I had fun and training my muscles felt so good. I started to go almost daily. For me, it was a big benefit, because I was able to cope better with the heat and I got to do some gentle cardio exercise. My brain started to work better again and my fatigue improved. I extended my swimming time from 20 to 45 minutes and I felt great after doing it. My sleep was better and I felt relaxed and fit.

I remember loving swimming as a child, I loved the water. During the summer, it was hard for my parents to get me out of the pool. I was very motivated to swim again, because I knew from experience that it feels good and that I’m good at it. It is an effective way of cooling down, great for relaxing and it always helps to do something for your body. Doctors often recommend swimming for people with MS because the water helps to train your body, while not exhausting you. It helps your body and soul and stops all the thoughts in my brain, just looking into the sun and swimming, like meditation.

After the summer, there are fewer public outdoor pools open. It’s a shame because I noticed the big positive effect it had on my body and also on my mind, it was a motivating feeling. It was not painful and after my swim there was little or no muscle soreness - so all was good! I think I have found my perfect way to do sport but I have to find out how I can do it all year round. 

In the meantime, I go Nordic walking twice a week with hubby through the woods. It’s not as good as swimming, but it’s great to get out into nature and I enjoy the movement, the fresh air and the benefits for both my legs and heart. I will keep doing this until I have the chance to swim again. 

For more tips on exercising with MS, click here

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