Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More


Military and Veterans Discount


AARP’s Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes

Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/15. No purchase necessary. Enter for Official Rules.


AARP Games - Play Now!


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.


Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


Myth Buster: Swimming After Eating Is Dangerous

MYTH: If you swim right after eating, you might get a cramp and drown.

FACTS: Contrary to what you may have been told, there’s little danger of getting a cramp because you swim after you eat, experts say.

The myth has some basis in science, says Moira Davenport, M.D., a specialist in emergency medicine and sports medicine and an attending physician at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh: “After you eat, more of your blood flow—20 to 25 percent—is diverted to the abdominal area to help with the digestive tract.” So exercising after eating does create competition for blood flow between the digestive organs and the muscles.

But if your meal and activity are light to moderate, then your body can provide sufficient blood to muscle and digestive systems, says Robert McMurray, a media spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine and a professor of exercise and sport science, nutrition at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

“There is nothing special about water that causes a problem or stomach cramps,” he says. “Think about it like any sport. If you wanted to go for a walk after dinner, that is fine. So is getting into the pool and swimming around. But would you do a stressful running or high-impact aerobic workout right after dinner? Probably not—you might see the dinner again! The same is true for swimming.”

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Symptom Checker

Enter your medical symptoms to find out possible causes and treatments. Read

Health Encyclopedia

Find the information you need about health conditions, symptoms and medical procedures. Read

Health Screenings and Vaccines

What screenings and shots do you need? Read


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points