In the Swim

As I have written before, I am one of the rare people with multiple sclerosis who love, and thrive in, hot weather. I haven’t always liked the heat, though; I grew up just outside Washington, D.C., where the air was thick and soupy for much of the summer. Let me tell you, I was grateful when my parents finally installed central air conditioning in our house!

Nowadays I live in Connecticut, where it’s generally – though not always – a bit cooler and less humid than in the D.C. area. Still, we have our share of blazing hot days. Oddly, I attribute my ability to enjoy those sizzlers to the fact that our house is NOT air-conditioned. We rely on open windows and lots of fans (including one in the attic) to stay cool. Because I work at home, I don’t have to make the transition between an air-conditioned office and a non-air-conditioned home the way my poor husband and daughter do. I don’t even turn the air on in my car! So I think my body has become acclimated to the heat.

My real ace in the hole, though, is our back-yard swimming pool. Any time the heat does start to bother me, all I have to do is trot down the hill in my bathing suit and slip into the water, which is invariably quite chilly.

As the National MS Society notes here, swimming – or just moving around in the water – is an excellent activity for people with MS, for reasons ranging from water’s natural buoyancy (so your body doesn’t have to work hard) to the fact that people at all levels of physical ability and disability can, perhaps with some adaptations, enjoy being in the water. Swimming is a terrific form of exercise and a way to release stress.

I am so grateful to have a pool in my yard. But there are other pools nearby for those who don’t have that luxury. I imagine there’s a YMCA or other facility near you that features a pool. So what are you waiting for? Hop in and enjoy!
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Jennifer LaRue Huget, Blogger

Jennifer LaRue Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001. A freelance writer and children's book author, she lives in Connecticut with her husband, two teenage kids, and two brown dogs. Her website is