For people who suffer from arthritis, or stiffness and pain of the joints, knowing how to incorporate exercise into a regular programme can be a huge challenge. While other people can lift weights at the gym, hit the treadmill, or just jog round around the park, you might find as an arthritis sufferer, that this puts too much strain on your joints and that it makes you feel worse instead of better. For people lucky enough to have a home pool, the solution lies right there in the water.
Why water therapy is perfect exercise for arthritis sufferers
Water therapy, aqua therapy—or whatever you wish to call it—it is essentially spending some time in your pool and moving around. And whatever name you give it, it is great exercise that won't put stress on your joints.
The reason that a home pool environment could be so beneficial for you is that an aquatic environment will give your body buoyancy. This basically means that while moving around, and essentially exercising, you won't feel the same strain on your joints that you would feel when exercising on land. When you immerse yourself up to your neck in water, your weight is reduced by 75-90%, meaning that you will experience less strain on your joints.
Heated water in your pool helps even more
If the water in your home pool is heated, this can provide additional relief for your joint pain. Pool temperatures are typically between 28.3 and 31.1 degrees Celsius, but the temperature can be raised a little for arthritis sufferers as warmer water has some pain relieving properties. Just ensure that the water is a comfortable temperature and not too hot.
Pool exercises for your arthritis
Don't think that because you want to commit to a pool exercise regime, you need to dive right in the deep end. If you need to start slow, then start slow. A great way to start doing some exercise in your pool is simply by walking around where it feels comfortable. The buoyancy will ensure that your joints are protected and don't experience pain, but the resistance of the water will also mean that it's a more intense workout than walking on land.
Swimming can also be extremely helpful, and you can try and raise the number of laps you complete each week. You might also want to check in with a local sports centre to find out about aqua aerobics of water tai chi lessons. Ultimately, you should take it slow to ensure that this form of exercise helps rather than harms.