Aching after swimming - should I go again soon?

Hi, went for a swim with my sisters yesterday, loved it, had a gentle swim, did a few lengths and walked up and down pool to loosen up, also had a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi - but woke today with an aching neck, shoulders and hips are playing up. Is this because I haven't done it for a while and should I go again soon, to get my body used to regular exercise? I know I'm deconditioned having been unwell and inactive for some months now.

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  • I would say (with long experience of these activities/leisure faclities - lucky me) Mo that some of it will be down to the swimming and resistance walking but likely more will be down to the heat of the sauna, steam room and probably the jacuzzi too if the water was hot. We lupies have to be really careful about heating up our bodies as it can bring on a flare (and those exact things have in me). A consultant advised me long go that those suffering from inflammatory conditions need to remain as cool as possible. I know how comforting jacuzzis, steam rooms and saunas can feel at the time and don't deny myself them altogether but must be strictly limited with time spent cooling down in the pool inbetween and before you leave. 5 mins in the jacuzzi and 3 each in steam room or sauna has proved about right for me. Hope that helps x

  • Thankyou so much Tigerlily, that makes sense. I was in the jacuzzi for around 15 mins (silly me), although just spent around 5 mins each in the sauna and steam rooms. Will bear that in mind next time, although have to say i feel better in myself today for having had a swim, so will be going again soon,

  • Ah sorry I have said the same as you Tigerlily and didn't see your comments first. Glad to know that it isn't just me that's no good with steam and jacuzzi too:) xx

  • No worries Mstr :) x

  • Hi Slowmo, Hope you are ok. I try to swim when I can and what I have found is what works best is 'Just the gentle swim. I found that dropping the sauna (although good at the time) helped. I don't know whether it was the heat but it certainly helped. I have also read (though may not be accurate) that a juccuzzi will activate the immune system whereas we want the opposite to happen in lupus. So for me...a gentle swim it is. If I push myself (as I used to swim before lupus and loved it) then I get a stiff neck shoulders. Now I find what works is swimming at a slower pace (argh) but it works, doing less lengths and a cooler shower. Afterwards I don't put much else in the day. It's a price to pay for it kind of works. Maybe this is just me and others might find sauna and juccuzi helps so I guess its open to debate? xx

  • Dear Slowmo,

    I find swimming really great for me. It gently stretches my body and relaxes me (which is what we Luppies need).

    I have no experience with sauna/steam room/jacuzzi - however would really be careful with infrared light in sauna, so you don't flare up.

    I can recommend yoga - it helps me a lot!

    Take it easy and take care x

  • Thanks for all the replies, looking back I probably did overdo it, even though I thought I was doing things gently I do tend to compare things to pre-lupus when I could do almost anything and at a fast pace. But on reflection I guess overall it all may have contributed - like always moderation is the key here. And I will be sure to try avoiding the heat and jacuzzi next time to monitor any difference, thanks all.

  • Hello all. I found this question and answers given reflect my experience too. I used to swim a lot and was unable to consider it for ages as I was unable to use the steps in and out. I did 6 months of hydrotherapy to strengthen dormant tissue and muscle and was finally able to take the brave step into the main pool a couple of weeks ago. I swam like a babe like I did pre lupus and felt wonderful, liberated and free! However for the following 3 days I was fit for nothing. Since then I have concentrated on slow stretching swimming and it has been good mentally and physically. Agree re jacuzzis not being good and am trying a sauna next week with trepidation but will take on board everyone's experience and advice. This site is brilliant and a life saver so thank you everyone for your honest posts. X

  • I gave up swimming because I was affected by the chemicals in the water. I was so exhausted the next day and it wasn't the exercise because I had rashes appear, too.

  • Thanks for the replies, glad that fitchick is able to get swimming again and hope that Cann you are able to find an alternative, maybe walking. I think dealing with our SLE is learning what helps and what hinders us, hope you find whats right for you.

    Take care all.

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