Swimming is an enjoyable and physically beneficial form of exercise. However, for people who are on oxygen for medical conditions, swimming in a pool can seem like something impossible. Oxygen tanks must remain dry, which poses a problem when you think about swimming through the water. Additionally, people who are oxygen dependent can't just release themselves from the tank temporarily to go for a dip in the pool. Yet, some methods exist to help those who are on oxygen still enjoy swimming and experience this sport to stay fit.
Scuba Diving Oxygen Tanks
Scuba diving oxygen tanks are designed for people to breathe underwater. This concept is similar to the notion that those who are oxygen dependent need oxygen to breathe underwater or above water. As such, depending on the severity of the individual, a person might be able to swim with a scuba diving oxygen tank. The tank provides the oxygen that the person needs so that he may temporarily swim through the water. The scuba tanks are protected by waterproof materials that make it possible for the tanks to be submerged in water.
You can swim with an oxygen tank by towing the tank behind you in a special device, such as a buoyant inner tube that floats above water as you swim. This method keeps the oxygen tank dry and right next to you or behind you so that you may move in sync with the towing device. When considering this option, you should take care to protect the oxygen tank with plastic or bubble wrap in case water accidentally splashes onto it.
Long Oxygen Tube
One way for someone who is oxygen dependent to swim with her oxygen tank is to leave the tank poolside, out of the water, and utilize an oxygen tube that's connected from the tank to the person. The tube covers the face of the swimmer so that she receives the oxygen that she needs while swimming. The tube must be long enough to span the distance that the individual wishes to swim so that she may move freely in the pool.
Certain manufacturers have made it possible for people who are oxygen dependent to swim with waterproof backpacks that contain small sized oxygen tanks. A mouthpiece is worn by the person swimming, which is attached to the backpack. These oxygen tanks may not last as long as the standard sized tank, but allow people to swim without being tied to a long tube or having to drag the heavy tank behind them. With the backpack solution, swimming is made easier and more comfortable.