Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work-Out Wednesday-Swimming

I swam competitively from around 1987-1991 on the Brentwood Dolphins (age 9-1).  I definitely was not the fastest swimmer in the pool, but it was a fund sport to participate in.  I made a lot of friends on the team and learned how to properly swim, which has become a valuable, life long lesson. 

When I was on the swim team, I did not know that I had CF.  I often wonder if my diagnosed was prolonged because of my time spent in the water.  I stopped swimming when I entered into high school.  It was during high school that I really started to show symptoms of CF. I was also not active in any physical sports during high school.  I didn't even participate in P.E. because of my back condition. 

In 2000, I lost 20% of my lung function.  It was at the same time I started working full time.  It was at this point in my life that I joined a gym.  About 6 months later, I decided to incorporate swimming back into my life.  I did not want to swim competitively again, so I just found a pool with open lap swimming and made up my own work out.  Within 2 months, my lung function improved by 10%! This is when I really learned that exercise would be the key to staying healthy and ahead of this disease. 

I am so grateful that I learned how to swim.  Swimming is GREAT for the lungs.  The whole sport revolves around breathing patterns; when to breath and how to breath.  While swimming I am 80% focused on my breath.  And I know my breathing is deeper and harder while swimming. It is very stimulating for mucus clearance and waking up the lungs. 

Since I started water aerobics, I don't lap swim too often.  As great as swimming is for my lungs, water aerobics provides a better work out for my back.  And to accommodate my schedule, I have to pick one or the other. I should try to alternate between the two because they both provide great benefit for both my lungs and back.


  1. I had heard that swimming was really good for the lungs. Do you worry about picking up something at a public pool? There is a large indoor pool where I go for Rehab and each time I pass it I feel it pulling at me.

    I never learned how to swim, would you believe it?

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Colleen. You've been about the only once visiting since I went private. Makes it kind of hard to keep doing it.

  2. Hi Colleen - do you mind if I ask about the back problems you spoke of in this particular entry. My teenage daughter (who as CF) has constant lower back pain and tries to do her stretches that she was show in physical therapy but it doesn't seem to be helping - although, she does need to be constantly reminded to do them. Coughing is really tough b/c it really hurts. Thanks, not sure if you can respond back through this comment option ??