Swimming for Health and Wellness … and a Good Cause

Not only is swimming good for you, but now you can Swim for MS to do good for others.

Health experts tout swimming as one of the best all-around, total-body workouts. It builds both strength and cardiovascular endurance, and is well-suited for all ages and abilities.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that just 2.5 hours a week of aerobic activity such as swimming can lead to improved overall health, better moods and improved quality of life. Furthermore, because swimming does not put stress on joints, it is an ideal workout for people rehabilitating from injuries, or those living with a chronic disease.

Swimming is an especially good workout for those who live with multiple sclerosis (MS). The buoyancy of water helps to support weak limbs, while also providing resistance to strengthen muscles. Because of its benefits to the MS community, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA), a national nonprofit organization, has created a unique fundraising effort, Swim for MS, to raise money and awareness to help individuals living with the disease.

Swim for MS is an ongoing national fundraising effort that helps MSAA provide support and services to people living with MS and their care partners. Participants set a swimming-related challenge, and recruit friends and family to donate to MSAA.

“When you go to the pool, you see people of all ages and abilities enjoying themselves in the water,” says MSAA President and CEO Douglas Franklin. “Swim for MS allows you to help others while getting healthier yourself – and have a good time doing it!”

Swim for MS challenges may range from an ongoing commitment to swim a certain distance or number of laps, or a one-day event that could include activities such as a water-volleyball tournament or a pool party. Participants can join as an individual or as part of a team, and challenges can be completed in any pool. No matter how you participate, you’ll be raising money to help people with MS and their loved ones with vital services and support.

MS is a disease of the central nervous system that is estimated to affect 2.5 million people worldwide and more than 400,000 people in the United States. Symptoms vary in terms of type and severity for each person with MS. Although researchers have not yet found a cure, treatments are available to help slow disease activity for most individuals with MS, as well as to manage the symptoms of MS.

To learn more about Swim for MS, or to sign up to participate, visit MSAA’s Swim for MS page.

About MSAA
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. Swim for MS is MSAA’s national fundraiser in which volunteers create their own swim challenge while recruiting online donations. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including MSAA’s magazine, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website (at mymsaa.org), featuring award-winning educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™ (named one of the best multiple sclerosis iPhone & Android apps by Healthline.com); a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; safety and mobility equipment distribution; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events held across the country; MRI funding; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

About MS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. MS damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves of the CNS, and can potentially injure the nerves as well. This damage causes reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common MS symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. Many experts estimate that 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with this disease, and most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 50. MS is not contagious and researchers continue to look for both a cause and a cure.