Swimming: I have been going swimming to try and lose... - NRAS

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I have been going swimming to try and lose weight and get fitter and to see if it helps with the pains in my joints....so far I haven't noticed any difference, other than the pounds dropping off, muscles tightening up but the minute I'm out of the water I'm hit with pain again! I'm exhausted all day aswell! Not wanting to give up as it's helping my weight! Have my first rheumatology appointment in just over 2 weeks x

4 Replies

How long have you been going swimming? I think the problem with starting any form of regular exercise is that it takes a while for the body to adapt and to see the maximum benefit. I thought it was quite hard to lose weight by swimming though, so you're doing really well!

My husband started coming swimming with me a few years back .... I think after a couple of months of going once or twice a week something clicked into place for him and he no longer found it such an effort.

Good luck with your appointment.


Hi it is a good idea to try to keep fit and lose weight. The problem is that fatigue is often part of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Having had chronic fatigue in the past and now RA I have experienced severe fatigue.

From my experience you cannot exercise your way through the fatigue. If you over do it you make it worse. I found that I had to pace myself and manage my energy reserves. The way I thought about it was that my body was like a battery with a charger that was wasn't working properly. If you take more out than you put in you get problems. It is important to rest to allow the body to recover. You need to manage your energy reserves and prioritise your activities to get the best out of life. Let your body recover and then continue to exercise without over doing it.

The good news is that if your RA is brought under control the fatigue should go. I hope that get on well with the rheumatologist. Unfortunately treatment can be a bit trial and error as we all respond differently to the treatments.



Thank you for the advice! I have been trying to rest as much as I can! I find the best time of the day to go is midmorning as I have the rest of the day to relax and recover! Have prepared myself for no quick fix x


Hi Chelle82,

Great to hear that swimming is helping with weight loss! It's good to keep in mind that swimming burns A LOT of calories, so it is not uncommon, even for a perfectly healthy person, to feel tired after a swim. I would suggest eating a good snack or meal right after swimming to immediately replenish your body before the fatigue sets in. I find that protein always does it for me, others need carbs. Listen to your body about how much you should push and what it needs to eat after.

Good luck!


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