New year, new you! Right? The doctor is on your back about your numbers, the blood pressure, the scale, the lipids, oh my! But the knees ache a bit, and the idea of getting on a bike is just a bit scary! Swimming you think, easy on the joints and great total body exercise. You hit the pool with all the proper equipment only find your strokes are a bit rusty and maybe you need a refresher course from an instructor, plus something feels a bit funny. Breathing is a bit harder than you remember. Floating feels different, and your legs don’t quite work the same.
So what’s going on here? As we age the water has a different impact on our bodies. As children, we tend not to notice the effect of hydrostatic pressure on body systems. Our diaphragms push up as we enter the water, making less room for our lungs to expand - this causes our breathing to change and become a bit more difficult in the water. So if you have a pulmonary condition, this is definitely something your instructor needs to know! Anyone with asthma, COPD, or any other type of chronic breathing impairment will want to work with their instructor to adapt their classes so they don’t tire too quickly.
What else is impacted in the water? Just about every body system! The cardiovascular system is forced to work a bit harder, and blood tends to pool toward the chest. So if you have a cardiac condition, please get clearance from your doctor first and communicate with your instructor. A trained and alert instructor will adapt your class to your condition and watch for signs of over-tiring or distress.
Other things we need to know - joint issues. If you have any knee, ankle, elbow, shoulder or other joint issues we need to know so we can help you stretch properly and work to increase flexibility. We are also looking to stop if pain occurs. Pain is your friend, it lets you know when we are doing too much.
Lastly, let us know if you have seizure disorders, fainting tendencies, or any other condition that may impact your health in the water. Safety is our biggest concern at all times. You should always get clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise routine, including swim lessons! Our trained staff is here to help you when you are ready to get swimming in 2020!