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Physical Health and Medical Conditions

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Safety Factsheet #


Physically active throughout life is important for both physical and mental health and wellbeing . Swimming and other aquatic activities in, on or around the water are a fantastic way to stay fit and enjoy our Australian waterways. Before participating in any exercise in, on or around the water Royal Life Saving recommends that you check in with yourself about your current physical health.

Physical health can be affected by many external factors such as viruses, infections, sprains, asthma, mobility issues and other medical conditions that require regular medication.

Medication also plays a vital role in maintaining physical health however all medication has possible side effects that cam impact on exercise. This can put people at higher risk of drowning when participating in aquatic activities. For example dizziness, fainting, chest pain, headaches, confusion, blurred vision and muscle pain can all affect a person's capacity to stay safe in on and around the water.

Before begining any exercise in, on or around water you should check in with yourself. Check how your are feeling and whether you are taking any medications that could effect how you exercise.

Check in with yourself:

  • When was the last time you exercised?

  • Do you have any mobility issues that would restrict how you exercise now?

  • Are you feeling well enough to exercise?

  • Are you on any medication that affects your blood pressure, heart rate or breathing that could impact how you exercise eg duration or intensity?

  • Check in with your doctor if you are returning to exercising after a long time or if you have any medical issues that could impact how you stay fit.

Safety Advice

  • Always check with your doctor before starting a new activity if you have existing medical or mobility issues

  • Don't go alone

  • Always let a family member of friend know where you are going and how long you expect to be

  • Always take any vital medication with you that you may need whilst exercising eg. ventolin for asthma.

  • Always swim and recreate in patrolled areas if available

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