If you have arthritis, either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, you may have been thinking about doing some water exercises for your knees, hips or other arthritic joints. Water exercises, meaning either those used in aqua aerobics or resistance exercises, have been used for years by arthritis sufferers to find pain relief.
Over the years water exercises for arthritis have been fine-tuned so right now the best exercises have been developed by many experts in the field. Exercise physiologists and doctors who specialize in sports medicine, rheumatologists, physical therapists and other health professionals have come up with the best arthritis exercises for use in the water.
Water exercises work very well for people who have arthritis in their knees and hips. People without arthritis greatly benefit too. The floating feeling or buoyancy of the water takes the stress off knees and hips.
If you’re doing water exercises on your own it’s best do the exercises with the water at chest-height. If you’re going to take aqua exercise classes, the instructors may make aerobics a part of your exercise period. Of course aerobic exercise will greatly benefit your heart and may even lower your blood pressure.
Aerobic exercise in the water may consist of exercise that moves the large muscles such as those in your legs. You’ll be kept constantly moving to get the heart rate up and sustained for at least 20 minutes or so.
Resistance exercise in the water contributes to building your muscles and strengthens them. Noodles (which are flotation devices) are used to exercise the arms and shoulders. The noodle is held at about the level of the waist while you are under water then you lift it over your head. You will feel resistance. Make sure to start the lift under the water.
You can do these exercises on your own in a public pool, private pool, Jacuzzi or wherever you have access to water. You may want to check with your doctor before starting any new water exercise routine or before you sign up for any water exercise or aqua aerobics classes.
If you’re using public pools, try to find pools that use salt water rather than chlorine. Chlorine is very hard on the body and skin. Much is absorbed and the long term effects are not known. Olympic swimmers will not swim in chlorine pools. Many public pools have switched from chlorine to salt water. Call around and see what the pools are using before you get started.
Doing these exercises may help relieve some of your arthritis pain. Many arthritics have reported pain relief after starting a water exercise program. You can find relief too.
And don’t forget that diet plays a big part in arthritis and exercise coupled with an arthritis diet or raw food diet will get you on the road to superior pain-free health.