Something that seems to help a bit with balance

Nine months ago my physiotherapist referred me to an aquatic exercise class at the council-run Leisure Pool. Two half -hour classes a week for twelve weeks, then "promotion" to a more "advanced" class for twelve weeks. Before you start you have an interview with the tutor, who assesses what kinds of exercises will help you most.

The water is about 4 feet deep. You warm up for ten minutes with communal exercises in a large circle, do your own individual exercises for 15 mins, then finish in the circle again.

After eight weeks I began to have the confidence to walk through the water alone without holding on to the side, and after another two weeks joined all the others in the circle. The tutor is excellent, and infinitely patient and encouraging. Fortunately I wasn't turfed out after the twelve weeks, and nine months later I am still in the "elementary" class, and still benefitting from the exercises.

I wasn't expecting any dramatic improvement - just hoping to delay the progression of the CMT. However I really do think my balance is a little bit less dire, while the ability to stand, walk, "jog" (after a fashion, with hardly any forward movement) - and even jump, while supported by the water is a wonderful and liberating feeling.

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  • Dear Amanita,

    What a lovely class it sounds. I wish we had something like that round here. I was always a keen, but not very good, swimmer and since developing CMT I have found swimming very liberating. I am lucky enough to have a deep pool in the river just across one field from my house so I swim there when ever it is warm enough. It is so good to be able to move around without worrying about falling and to be able to stretch and bend in all directions supported by the water. Maybe we should all ask for aquatice exercise classes.

    Best wishes,

    RE Green

  • Yes, it really is a lovely class, R. E., - and the participants are very friendly bunch too. But it was not easy to discover.

    Originally I rang the Leisure Pool, and asked about exercise classes, but was only told about something clearly suitable for really fit people, in spite of telling them my needs. I then asked the hospital physio about aquatic exercises . If she had not told me about the "GP Referral Class" and then referred me, I should never have discovered it. It would never have occurred to my GP to refer me !

    It seems rather a closely guarded secret. So maybe there is something available, but nobody has told you. It would be madness to try to swim in our cold, swift, deep and Northern local river !

  • Dear Amanita,

    Thanks for the information I'll ask around after my next lot of surgery. My river is the Water of Cree in Galloway and yes it is usually gasp makingly cold at first but with persistence I have found that I warm up with activity and I feel so good afterwards that it is worth it. The pool is to the side of the fast current so there isn't much water movement. It is so much easier to be able to just go out of my garden and across a bit of grass to the river bank, instead of having to drive to a swimming pool at a particular time, that I would be loath to give it up.

    Best wishes ,

    RE Green

  • Thank you for your cheery response and good wishes, R.E. You are a long way south west of here. It must be a lovely setting for your exercise, and it sounds as though you can actually swim , too. I would be far too much of a wimp to cope with the cold, and can't do anything you could actually call swimming !

    Good luck with the surgery, and I hope you'll find an indoor aquatic class somewhere, at least temporarily.

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