Crawley: Swimming strokes is sweet for diabetes and hearts at UWA

Medi-swim participants (l-r) Kerry and Roger Smith, with physiotherapist Deborah Kounis, at the study's pool at UWA. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Medi-swim participants (l-r) Kerry and Roger Smith, with physiotherapist Deborah Kounis, at the study's pool at UWA. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

A POOL of volunteers is needed to swim laps for a study on the benefits of exercise for diabetes and cardio-vascular sufferers at the University of WA.

“I’m in the pool again, swimming laps, doing some water aerobics for the past six months, and now I can walk a lot further, and I could go to Claremont and back,” chronic health sufferer and Nedlands resident Kerry Smith (71) said.

She and husband Roger (77), who has a heart condition, are among about 40 participants in the School of Sports Science’s Medi-Swim study.

Participants spend at least three, one-hour sessions exercising at the university’s pool and gym each week.

“For a lot of people the pool is a great place to start exercising again because, for instance, they may not aggravate knee injuries, and from there they may progress to light weight work in the gym,” Medi-Swim physiotherapist Deborah Kounis said.

Those with type 2 diabetes participate to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose management, reduce weight, blood pressure and cholesterol, and the risk of heart disease.

Ms Kounis said more participants from across Perth were needed in the 10-week program because students had to work with patients, but there was a fee.

She said patients were assessed by qualified physiologists and swimming coaches before and after their program , and the results given to their doctors, who must initially provide medical clearances.

The next patient intake is on July 16, but is planned for the study to be continuous.

To participate in Medi-Swim call 6488 3333