To swim or not to swim?

Hi, I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis a year ago but I have lots of other problems - pain mainly in my joints - chronic and sometimes severe. To help ease this I was going to try some gentle swimming again (used to swim for the county in my youth - hence my nickname) but have recently read that chlorine and other chemicals in pools have a detrimental effect on lungs. A study on young swimmers who swam regularly showed a much higher level of asthma and other lung problems than non-swimmers. Has anyone else heard/experienced this?

Hope you are all keeping warm in this long winter.

Thanks xx

swimmer

20 Replies

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  • I believe the helpline may be the best ones to ask,,as they know more than us ,,as every case is diffrent... :)

  • Have emailed them.

    Am waiting for a reply.

    Thanks for your advice.

    Swimmer

  • I suffer from sarcoidosis and bronchiectasis and swim 3 times a week (I would swim every day if I could). I don't feel worse for going but I certainly do feel better for going. I honestly don't think as much chlorine is used these days especially wehn I look back 30 years to the eye-stingingly over-chlorinated pools we put up with then. I am lucky the pools I go to have lots of ventilation which obviously helps. With all these sorts of things I think there is a balance to be struck - I feel that being able to exercise and stay as fit as i can outweighs the possible health effects the chlorine might have on me - but of course thats my individual choice. Since taking up regular swimming my FEV has increased and I just generally feel better and healthier. Its always a difficult choice to make - but my view is that if i did everything I was told to do then I might as well just go to bed and give up. Speak to your GP/Consultant and why not pop along to a pool and see how you cope?

    Good luck - I find it very relaxing - a hour of swimming up and down - just me and my thoughts.

    Marie x

  • thanks so much Marie

    You are right - finding a balance between being careful and being healthy is a tricky one. I will try the pool, which I know from past experience is heavily chlorinated, and see how I go. Have also contacted the advisors at BLF so will see what they have to say. Glad to hear you are getting a lot of benefit from it.

    I used to love swimming when I was much younger - like you, I felt at peace in the water and that alone can help greatly.

    Best wishes

    swimmer

  • Yes - there's a definite mental health benefit to it as well as physical health. Fingers crossed for you.

    Marie x

  • Thanks again.

    Kind regards

    swimmer

  • I have bronchi ecstasies and I swim every week, I don't find the chlorine bothers me, it makes my breathing and joints feel so much better, you will live it once you get back in the swing of it. Take care x

  • Going to make a jump for it (into the pool that is). Hope it helps as, although I don't seem to be getting much worse, I don't feel like I am getting any better either.

    Thanks for your kind help.

    swimmer

  • My sister-in-law has bronchiectisis Swimmer and she swims regularly. She doesnt like the chlorine - who does? - but says the benefit far outways that.

    Good suggestion to contact the BLF helpline.

    good luck with it, jean

  • Hi O2Trees (Jean)

    Contacted the blf helpliine who said that how swimming pools effect people with bronchiectasis is very variable and there was no definitive answer, but that it was such a good form of exercise that I should try it and see how I feel.

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    swimmer

  • I don't have the breath to swim but I love just floating in the waterat the edge of a pool it is so relaxing. Keep smiling.

    Carole x

  • Hi Carole

    Floating sound wonderful. I know I need to relax more.

    Many thanks

    swimmer

  • I asked my consultant about this as I enjoy swimming and going with the kids. He said that as I have mild asthma to take my inhaler before hand incase the chlorine isn't great for me. He said to go and that it's really good to get exercise (i have bronchiectasis) but to make sure that I don't get cold. I get out as soon as i;m cold and i have a hot shower (leave the kids wrapped in towels til i'm dry!) and hot drink when I get home. I'd avoided it for ages as was getting an infection a month and couldn't risk it but I have been about 3 times lately and no probs!

    I think if you are swimming for health rather than watching kids going down the slide you wouldn't get so cold either.

    Some pools are warmer than others so try a few and boy if you can afford it go for a lovely health club with loungers, warm water, sauna and steam (sauna isn't great for me but i love the steam room!) xx

  • Hi young one

    No kids, only a 22 year old at uni, so my pool watching days are over. No asthma either, thankfully and not enough in the budget to 'do' a health club - just the slightly sad municipal pool about a mile away. However, I am going to 'give it a go' - take my time and see how i cope. Your advice about staying warm is excellent, as is your encouragement. Many thanks and kind regards

    swimmer

  • Hi young one

    No kids, only a 22 year old at uni, so my pool watching days are over. No asthma either, thankfully and not enough in the budget to 'do' a health club - just the slightly sad, municipal pool about a mile away. However, I am going to 'give it a go' - take my time and see how i cope. Your advice about staying warm is excellent, as is your encouragement. Many thanks and kind regards

    swimmer

  • Ring your pool or leisure centre and ask if they do a session for toddlers or over 50's as the pool is often warmer then so if you go straight after this it's still warmer than normal.

    Carole x

  • Thanks again Carole for being so kind!

    I'm off to the pool on Tuesday!

    Best wishes

    swimmer

  • Hi Swimmer, I would definitely carry on swimming. My consultant advised me to carry on with swimming and Aqua but not to use the shower facilities as this is where the germs are multiplying. I just dry myself and go home to shower. I feel really good for it. Good luck Maximonkey

  • Ah, great advice! Thanks Maximonkey. I hadn't thought about the germ implications - just the problem with the nasty chemicals.

    Kind regards

    swimmer

  • Go for it swimmer. Maximonkey

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