Arthritis water exercise just might be the solution you’ve been looking for to keep your pain at bay. As children and young adults we would splash around in the water, diving in without a care in the world, never imagining that swimming activities could one day, much later in life, bring relief from the stresses and discomfort associated with age related arthritic pain.
There are many exercises people with arthritis conditions can partake in including strength training, stretching, or low-impact aerobic exercise. Aquatic classes offer all three combined into one enjoyable, painless, and productive session. Arthritis water exercise programs are usually conducted in a pool environment.
It’s not easy to jump into something outside of our comfort zones, particularly when we are older and feel confined to limited choices based on our physical capabilities. Swimming however, is an exercise that gets the heart pumping and the limbs moving without the breathlessness of traditional cardio or the effort of weight lifting.
This makes it cost-friendly, and better yet whether you’re a novice or have swam your whole life, the cooling water, warm temperatures, and the effect of gravity will benefit every part of your body immersed within the pool.
At any age someone can benefit from water exercise, but in elderly populations the desire for water based activities to ease joint pain has risen over the last decade. Water works as a barrier from pain to the joints, muscles, and bones that are strained during other forms of activity.
Suspending in water only uses anywhere from 25% - 50% of your body weight, making you feel lighter and making movements easier to perform. Whether it’s the legs, arms, neck, or back, you will feel weightless as you work out your joints in the water.
Just like any fitness regimen you need to first consult with your healthcare provider before starting.
You should feel confident and comfortable in your arthritis exercise program. Many public pools such as the YMCA or other fitness centers offer aquatic exercise sessions for many age groups. It’s best to find one that caters to older adults. If you run into roadblocks tracking one down, call the Arthritis Foundation for guidance.
Having an instructor that understands the specific needs of older people suffering from a variety of ailments, namely arthritis, is crucial to benefiting from the program. Furthermore, having peers with similar challenges as yours that you can relate to, empathize with, and celebrate one another will help your confidence levels.
Not that swimming with younger people should be totally avoided; they can be just as encouraging or inspiring as anyone. However, it will help your self-esteem if you don’t have 30-something athletes leaving you in the dust.
Research your local facilities, call and inquire about the programs, and visit or observe one of their arthritis water exercise courses catered to senior citizens. Once you do so you will be well on your way to conquering your joint pain and finding the activities that work best for you.
You may also be interested in the related pages listed below.
Arthritis Foundation "Water Walking Benefits."