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Is Pool Exercise Good for Arthritis

Arthritis is a term used to describe inflammation and other disorders of the joints. There are many different types of arthritis and it can affect people of any age. Common symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Exercise can be a useful way to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, but caution must be taken to not exacerbate the condition. Load bearing exercises can aggravate joint pain, so activities that reduce the weight on the body are ideal. Is pool exercise good for arthritis? In this article, we’ll go over some exercises that can be done in a swimming pool without causing excess strain on the joints.

Swimming

Swimming is a good exercise for those who suffer from arthritis because as much as 90% of the bodyweight is supported by the water. By creating a sensation of near-weightlessness, stiff and sore joints are able to function without undue stress. Swimming allows the muscles to be strengthened and toned while loosening the joints, increasing range of motion and decreasing pain. The fact that no part of the body is in contact with the ground also makes swimming a zero-impact exercise. 

Water Walking

Water walking classes have recently become more popular for people of all ages. Once again, the buoyancy of the water supports the weight of the body and reduces the burden on the joints. The resistance created by the water, easily 10 times more than that created by air, allows sufferers of arthritis to strengthen muscles and burn calories without creating excess stress on the joints. Water walking can take place in shallow water or in deep water, where the participant’s feet don’t touch the bottom, with the aid of flotation devices. Deepwater walking results in a zero-impact exercise that can significantly improve the range of motion.

Water Jogging

Water jogging is ideal for those looking for a tougher workout than water walking. It still keeps impact levels low and n greatly decreases the amount of weight the joints have to carry compared to jogging on land. Similar to water walking, water jogging can be done in shallow water or in deeper water with the aid of flotation devices. 

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics allows for a good cardiovascular workout without the need for swimming. This makes it an ideal exercise for non-swimmers. The aerobics can be done in shallow water or deeper water with the aid of flotation devices. The intensity of the session can be easily tailored to the participants with classes ranging from simple stretching to those which offer resistance training and vigorous aerobic workouts. Water aerobics can be combined with the use of weights, kickboards and other equipment to increase the types of exercises that can be performed.

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