Aqua Aerobics, Good Exercise for Arthritis Patients

January 12, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

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I have mentioned on several occasions in this blog that exercising in water is the best fitness option for people with arthritis — aqua aerobics is one such option.

According to Andrew Whittaker, Chief Executive Officer for Aquatics and Recreation Victoria (Australia):

“Actually, everyone should dive into exercising in water – it’s the coolest place to be when the weather warms up.

There are a number of benefits when you compare aqua exercise to land-based exercise. For a start, it’s safer on the joints because you’re not pounding on anything – it’s a more fluid movement.

It’s also more comfortable because your body mass is being supported, which is particularly beneficial if you’re pregnant or overweight.

Plus, if you’re doing reasonably solid exercise in water, you don’t tend to get the stiffness and soreness you typically get after a hard training session because it’s less jarring on your body.”

Exercising in water is not only perfect for arthritis patients but also for people recovering from injury, older exercisers, pregnant women, for anyone who’s new to exercise and for people who are overweight.

Excitingly, while the stiffness and soreness after working out in water are reduced (to zero), the benefits are in fact, the reverse. Working out in the water – whether it’s swimming laps, grooving in an aqua aerobics class or using a pool as an underwater gym – is a great fat burner and body toner.

For example, walking in the water burns almost twice the kilojoules of walking on land – because of the resistance of the water against your body and the wider range of motion we can achieve in a pool.

Plus, the best thing about working out in water (for all us sweathogs) is that it’s a sweat-free zone. Now where’s that swimsuit, I hear you ask!

According to this news from Australia, you can easily turn your pool into an exercise place in no time:

Here’s how to turn your pool into a gym. Equipment-wise you’ll just need a pair of swimmers, water booties (for grip on the pool floor) a ball and a noodle (yep, one of those pool toys kids use).

Always start any workout with a warm-up – for this one, do three or four laps of breaststroke, and then a few faster laps of freestyle to get your heart rate pumping and all your muscles warm and ready for action.

Then start off with the strength exercises, pausing very minimally between exercises to keep your heart rate up.

To ramp it up a notch, invest in some water dumbbells, or tie a towel around your wrists and ankles when you’re exercising – when it’s wet it works as a weight and provides extra resistance through the water.

Wow, what a great idea for activities this summer. What are we waiting for? Gear up and prepare yourself for an aqua aerobics class this summer! 😉

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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