Swimming and Arthritis
Arthritis sufferers know that regular exercise is essential for their joints – and for their overall good health and well-being. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps with fatigue. When stiff and painful joints are acting up though, the mere thought of exercise can be overwhelming. The good news is that its not always necessary to run on the treadmill for an hour or sweat it out in an high impact aerobics to reap the benefits of exercise. Even moderate exercise can help reduce the symptoms of your arthritis.
Swimming is one of the exercises that doctors often recommend for people with arthritis. The exercise combined with the water’s support provides an aerobic workout without putting extra stress on your joints. So now may be the time to get out your bathing suit and head to the pool. Many community swim centers now have therapy pools, with warm water that makes exercise soothing, not stressful, for aching joints.
The Arthritis Foundation, for example, designed an hour-long Aquatic Program designed to work every joint, from your thumb to your hips to your ankles. Instructors are certified to show participants how to do the exercises properly to minimize overexertion and injury. The added resistance of aquatic exercises makes even simple exercises – walking backward, for example – a good workout.
Check the Arthritis Foundation website for programs in your area or contact your local swim center or YMCA – http://www.arthritis.org/resources/community-programs/walk-with-ease/. Whatever program you choose, check with your doctor, don’t overdo it, and let the instructor know if you’re having any difficulty.Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!