In many respects, enjoying the water comes down to two easy words…. Be prepared.

It’s true to say that any sufferer of a medical condition carries an increased risk of danger when in or near the water.

This isn’t to say that those with medical conditions should avoid the water. Far from it, The important thing is to enjoy the water safely.

Do you know your physical capabilities? Are they suited to the activity you plan?

These questions are especially relevant if you have a condition which may reduce your ability or increase your risk in the water.

Everyone’s abilities change over time – especially for those who haven’t been active for a while. If, for example, you have recently suffered from an illness such as a cold or the flu, you should probably start with less demanding activities. Build up slowly. There’s plenty of time.

Having a medical condition such as asthma, epilepsy, heart conditions, physical or intellectual disability, shouldn’t reduce anyone’s pleasure in the water. Just because some illnesses or disabilities can make water more hazardous doesn’t mean the water should be less enjoyable. It’s essential, however, that you have control of your condition through both a healthy lifestyle and the correct medication (if medication is necessary).

If in doubt, talk to some who knows – a doctor, or a trained fitness consultant. Joining a club or interest group is another great way to identify your risks and improve your skills in the water at the same time.