Swimming safely when you have cancer

There’s power in the pool - during and after cancer!

We all know that swimming regularly is a great choice of exercise, but it’s also suitable for many people during and after cancer.

Staying active can help manage common cancer treatment symptoms such as pain and fatigue, which beats previous thinking of rest being best! Swimming is a great way to get a full body workout, boost strength, and improve your stamina.

When it comes to rehabilitation, the natural buoyancy of the water also helps here. Water-based exercise can help to reduce swelling, help recovery, and aid joint pain from surgery and other treatments.

Don’t forget about prehabilitation either! Prehabilitation (prehab) means preparing for cancer treatment, and we know waiting for it can be a stressful time, which is where swimming can come in handy to ease your mind and keep you fit as a fiddle before you get started.

It’s perfectly fine to get active if:

  • you’ve just been diagnosed
  • you’re currently receiving treatment
  • you have recently finished treatment

However, it is important to understand the precautions you must take depending on the stage of cancer you’re at and the type of treatment you’re having. For example, swimming in chlorinated pools is not recommended during or after having radiotherapy, as skin changes and irritation from radiotherapy can be further irritated by pool chemicals. We advise chatting to your GP before making a splash!

Just Swim has a helpful article about what to know when considering swimming during or after cancer treatment – you can view it by clicking here.

If you want to boost your confidence in the water, we offer a range of swimming lessons at a selection of our centres which you can look through below.

Swimming lesson options

As always, one of our Placemakers will be happy to assist you and answer any of your questions during your visit to our pools!

We have a variety of Swim memberships to help you enjoy the pool too, whether you swim for fun or to keep fit.

We know that a routine can be challenging to follow during treatment, so we also have Just Swim and Lane Swim sessions that are available on a pay as you go basis. You can also choose a monthly membership if you prefer!

Check out the timetables at your local centre here.

Take a look at what’s included in our membership types below and how you can join us online.

Our memberships


Sources: Swimming During and After Cancer (Just Swim) | Exercise guidelines for cancer patients (Cancer Research UK) | Exercising safely when you have cancer (Macmillan Cancer Support) | What is prehabilitation? (Cancer Research UK)