The pool isn’t just for entertainment and relaxation! It can be a great fitness tool — especially when “staying home” is encouraged over going to a big gym filled with lots of people. Water fitness is great for people of all ages, all skill levels and especially those that have chronic paint, joint pain or arthritis. Aquaman Pools experts share some of the benefits of water fitness and some key ways to get started on an aquatic exercise routine.
Because water is buoyant, it reduces impact on the joints, making exercises easier on the body. However, thanks to water resistance, it requires more effort and thus can help people burn more calories than the same exercise (such as walking) on land. Working out in the water can improve cardiovascular fitness, balance and range of motion, according to www.arthritis.com, and heated pools can even help relieve joint or body pain.
In an article on the Arthritis Foundation website, Mary Sanders, PhD, a clinical exercise physiologist at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno, touted the benefits of water workouts, saying, “Exercising in a pool provides nearly instant relief from pain and stiffness. Even if you don’t feel comfortable walking on land, the buoyancy of water gives you freedom of movement while providing support.”
The article also suggests working out in deeper water, as the “more submerged your body is, the lighter the load on your joints.” For those with arthritis in the shoulders or spine, keeping the upper body under water increases the fitness benefits, “helping burn more calories while improving your mobility and range of motion.” A buoyancy belt designed to help the body stay upright can be a great tool for this type of workout.
Naturally, just swimming laps is a great whole body workout, but water walking is also ideal for those with joint pain. Water exercisers can create their own routine in the water that includes a variety of reps that focus on individual parts of the body and the body as a whole (such as knee lifts, arm lifts, leg kicks and squats, etc.). Need a little inspiration? YouTube or Google some videos to get started.
Swimmers that are considering a water workout to help ease joint pain or arthritis should always speak with their physician before starting a new fitness routine. And for those that want to make sure they are doing their workout in clean and healthy water, give Aquaman Pools a call!