Pool exercise - what do you do?
by restorativepose, May 13, 2012
Hello, I am new here, an un-DX'd 36yo with leg weakness (primary), bouts of leg buzzing, blurred vision with exercise (secondary), and word recall + memory deficits. Am working with a neurologist doing testing to figure it out. No MRI yet (see my pp).

I miss my exercising!  While my former exercise was heavy weightlifting and bodybuilding, I need to switch it up due to the health issues. Two limitations at present:  (1) walking too far, more than 10-15 minutes, causes the leg weakness to intensify and I fear falling. and (2) too strenuous exercises causes eye blur and cognitive issues - inability to focus and depression-like.

The wonderful news is that I found that an easy bicycle ride on a flat surface at a slow speed feels good and does not have the negative side effects. I can do this for about 30 minutes, carefully.  Yay to have found something enjoyable!

In MS literature I have read a lot about the wonders of pool therapy. I know how to swim, but haven't done so since the health issues occurred. Never was really a "swim a bunch of laps" girl, but I was thinking gentle water stretching and light resistance work might feel good.  We have a pool two blocks away from work, and I could go over lunch (worried about the walk to get there, admittedly).

What do you do in the pool?  

Thanks  : )
Member Comments (5)
by SarahL2491, May 13, 2012



sorry, couldn't resist
by Lulu54Blank, May 13, 2012
There are several water workouts and when i get home i will post more info and some links.
by supermum_msBlank, May 13, 2012
A lot of people really love their water aerobics classes and get a lot out of it, the only thing i'd get you thinking about is water and air temperature. Some of the pools are heated and it ends up generating a negative affect so check that out. The other thing is head space, often you can end up being the youngest in the class, and still struggling to get through it but some pools have classes taylored for pwMS or mixed disabilities so depending on where your head is, that might be an option to look into as well.

Personally i loved swimming, over here in oz we're sort of water mental but i cant swim with out drowning lol not quite though it doesn't take long before i can't do much except keep my head up and float. If i'm down the river, I wakeboard until i foldup um like a crash dummy lol when i hit the water i'm totally unable to move so i rely on my life jacket and the people in our boat to get me out of the water.

Years ago before i had any understanding of which way was up lol i took our youngest to baby swimming lessons, i couldn't work out why after i hit the water i'd end up struggling to hold him up and if i went in deeper i'd get into trouble. Back in 08 i was working at a school nearby and we took the kids there for swimming lessons but gosh the place was a nightmare for me. It was heated and just the air was enough to have me fighting fatigue and my need to escape outside to the cooler air, i didn't understand any of it but i do now lol

Check out what the pools are like, if they are heated just sit around for a while, have a swim and see if it has any affect on you, it may not but if it is MS its rather a common experience lol a hot bath use to be the only test to dx MS.

Just a thought............JJ

by Lulu54Blank, May 13, 2012
I'm home and now able to access the link I want to share with you about water exercise - go to this page and scroll down to the fourth publication on aquatic exercise.

The temperature that pools are heated to are no where near the temperature of the baths that were once used to test people for MS - those would be more like spas or hot tubs.  Our heated pools are rarely above 84 degrees, which is still below the body temp.  Working in the water is especially good because you don't get overheated as you would on dry land.

The eye-blur problem with overheating form exercise sounds much like what I experience when I exercise on dry land, or even if I get too hot from the shower and using my blow dryer. But I have never had this problem in a pool.  

Exercise in water can be as gentle or as rigorous as you might be able to tolerate and it has the added benefit of lowering the stress on your joints.  

You can always swim laps, but that is more of a cardiovascular workout, and what you might benefit from is the stretching and endurance building of other forms of water workouts.

I have been involved with a water program for MSers for almost two years and see an amazing change in all the participants, including women who are in wheelchairs.  Give it a try and see if it also works for you.

Good luck with the neurologist and the next round of tests.  I hope you come back with your questions and keep us posted on how you are doing.

be well, Lulu
by supermum_msBlank, May 13, 2012
Your probably right about the water temp over your way but the place i went to over here was hot, way too hot, not sure the exact temp but kids come out pink. The water dripped down the walls the windows are always fogged over with condensation and how hot the place was, was usually complained about by everyone.

lol mums and dads even in the dead of winter, strip down to summer tops when there because everyone gets hot and sweety. One of the mums told me she asked why it was always so hot and they said that it was because of the size of the building making it like a steam room, well steam room is right but the water was still hot like a bath.

So it maybe just a here in Australia (Vic) thing, i've been to a few swim school/exercise pools when i was working and if they are heated then over here, for me its a problem, but it may not be something you need to even think about :o)