Swimming success!

I posted recently that I was starting to swim while the little girl I nanny for has her lesson. I started 3 weeks ago and afterwards I HURT! For several days after my shoulders, wrists and fingers were very sore. Nevertheless I decided to persevere. The following week her dad decided to take her so I didn't swim and then last week she had an eye infection so we didn't go. Needless to say I was worried when I got in the water yesterday!

I decided to adapt my swimming style and mainly use my legs rather than my arms. I probably looked utterly ridiculous next to the "proper" swimmers but I woke up this morning with no pain or stiffness soi think it paid off!

I've also noticed that since we took up running, I've had no pain in my ins or iOS which was quite a problem for me before then. Perhaps exercise is the key for me!

12 Replies

  • Good stuff! I swim regularly, several times a week. I find that if I swim less often than every other day (which I generally do!) I get stiff and sore... The key to swimming pain-free, for me, seems to be to do it as close to daily as possible. Shame that life gets in the way of that, really!

  • I would love to swim more often but our local pool is in the town 12 miles from our village. Although I work in town, I often work 11-12 hours at which point I just want to go home! I think if there was a pool in the village I would definitely swim more regularly because it such good exercise! Maybe if we win the lottery we'll have our own pool :p

  • I dream of my own pool! And of having a sudden windfall so that I don't need to work and can swim everyday... Preferably somewhere tropical! ;)

  • Me too. In the basement or something

  • I'm sure it'll help if it's not too vigorous!

  • Swimming is the one exercise I love. A pool of my own would be fantastic!!!

    M x

  • I always think "swimming" is completely the wrong word to use for what is useful to do in the pool as exercise for arthritis. If you do swim, you usually do have to completely modify your style - not big arm movements, no breast stroke with your head held out of the water at an odd angle that puts stress on your neck. What can be incredibly useful is just to walk in the pool, and to do range of motion exercises - circling and gently stretching arms, feet, legs, etc. Also floating with float aids and doing the same stretching of arms and legs out to the a star shape. I also found when I really did want to swim, that by developing a style where I rolled my entire body to take a breath (keeping it straight), it stopped my back from hurting. My back swimming consists of floating, gently kicking my legs and kind of flapping my hands and arms from side to side under the water. I can propel myself fairly fast like that without wrecking my shoulders trying to backstroke. I do a modified breaststroke too (more of a fluttery kick than a frog action) but always keep my head forward and actually go right underwater with my head, as trying to keep it above water really wrecks my neck.

    The other thing to be aware of is that for arthritis a warmer pool makes things a lot easier. I have found in a couple of places that the childrens pool is heated just a little higher than the adult lane swimming one, and it definitely helps your joints to feel better. Ask if there is any difference in pool temperatures where you go (or if they heat the pool differently for any specific sessions)

  • Mt physio suggested hydrotherapy, she is looking into it for me. Sounds lovellyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Babs x

  • We do have a studio pool that is slightly warmer than the main pool but that's where the kids swimming lessons are at the same time so I can't go in. I think the main pool is warmer than a lot of pools. It's pretty new

  • I swim two or three times a week. It is the only exercise I can do, and even that is my own version of breast stroke. The downside is I have to get up at 6.15 in the morning. This was ok when I was working - just swam and then off to work. I decided I couldn't carry on working in July after another really bad flare up, and getting up at 6.15 isn't so easy now!

  • I had to be at work at 7 this morning and that was a struggle! I don't think I'd be motivated enough of I wasn't being paid!

  • As well as RD I also have degenerative scoliosis. The physio I saw for that told me to only swim 3 lengths to start with but to also walk 10 lengths. Even this tired me out to start with but is getting easier. I go 3 times a week. I'm lucky as the pool at our local gym also has a spa with hydrotherapy pool, steam room, sauna, etc. Some time in the hydro pool after swimming really helps.

    Perhaps you need to ease off a bit and build up very slowly.

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