Summer is upon us and it’s the perfect time to get into the pool and start moving. Water-based exercise programs offer a way to move your body and strengthen muscles against resistance, without worrying about excessive impact on your joints. There are many options when it comes to getting started.
Swimming is a total body workout. You can stick with one stroke or work on your own individual medley. If you are dealing with joint pain, there are certain strokes that may feel better or worse. For example, if you have neck pain a snorkel could be beneficial in the front crawl if it is too stressful to turn the head. If you have knee pain, you might want to stay away from the frog/whip kick in breaststroke and stick to a flutter kick instead. A recent article in the New York Times outlines some of the benefits of a 30 minute swim routine and provides some simple guidance and motivation to get you started.
Water walking is a great alternative or complement to swimming. Whether you walk forward, backward, sideways, or a combination of all three, your body will be working against the resistance of the water. The depth of the water is one determinant of resistance. The deeper the water, the greater the challenge. Additionally, because of the vertical orientation of the body when walking, water walking is great for individuals with arthritis and back pain. The buoyancy of the water helps to decompress the joints. Therefore, you can move without pain.
Water Fitness Classes
Group fitness water programs are great for people who like to be social in their exercise routine or have an instructor create the plan. Classes usually target various muscle groups and use equipment to further enhance your exercise routine. Group classes are a great way to get acquainted with being in the pool and can help create a program that you can use on your own as well.
Whether you swim, walk, take a class, or simply just get into the water, have fun and ask your physical therapist if you have any questions about starting a routine.
- 3 Water-Based Exercise Programs to Try This Summer! - June 22, 2022
- The Benefits of Winter Walking with Walking Poles - February 10, 2021
- They Say Shoes Don’t Lie. In my Case, Slippers Don’t Lie. - September 21, 2020