Pool Therapy for Arthritis

Matthew Thompson Health Guide
  • When you have osteoarthritis, staying in shape can be painful. Just getting to a gym or fitness center can be a hassle when you have aching hips and knees. Furthermore, one of the first things your doctor will often tell you when you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis is to get some exercise and lose some weight. It's a tough situation to be in. Is it really possible to exercise when it is painful?

     

    Fortunately, it is. In fact, there are alternative forms of exercise that can help. One popular form of exercise is pool therapy, or water aerobics. It makes sense. Since the water supports the body's weight, there is much less pressure on painful joints. Pool therapy is often an ideal solution for people with arthritis who find regular exercise painful. When starting a water aerobics program, it is helpful to join a class. The benefit of taking a class is that you will have a trained instructor and fellow class members to offer encouragement and support. It's also easier to stay disciplined and not miss class when others are expecting you to be there (and if you're paying for the class).

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    Who is best suited for water workouts?

    Before starting any exercise program, you should see your physician for a checkup. The primary reason for the checkup is to make sure your heart and the rest of your body can handle the extra activity. If you've recently had surgery or have any open wounds, you should delay water aerobics until it is cleared by your doctor. Water aerobics is a low-impact and less strenuous form of exercise, so, in general, it is safe way to get started with exercise.

     

    How to get started:

    To find a water aerobics program in your area, it's best to ask around and check on the web. You may consider working with someone one-on-one, as they'll be able to tailor a program specifically for your needs. Community centers with pools often have water aerobics classes. Also, you might ask if there is a heated pool available, because this may provide some extra relief for painful joints.

     

    See related posts:

    Exercising with Arthritis: Know your Options 

     

    Swimming and Water Exercise: Great for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Published On: March 17, 2008