Summer is here and many people are looking forward to exercise routines in the water. The pool is a great spot to exercise, especially for those with joint problems or pain. The buoyancy of the water makes it low impact by taking off the force of stress on the joints. At the same time, the resistance of the water helps to strengthen the muscles. If someone has swelling, the hydrostatic pressure of the water can help decrease the edema.
With all that said, how to start? I recommend starting gently, with 20-30 minutes the first session. You won’t feel tired during the workout, but may afterwards. It’s better to start slow and build up your time and exercise in the pool. It’s always good to start with walking. You can walk forwards, backwards, sideways. If you feel unsteady, hold onto a pool noodle or a kickboard for stability. Once more comfortable, then start moving your arms in the water and increasing your speed.
Other simple exercises include leg kicks. Hold onto the side the pool and kick your leg out to the side or straight ahead. For your arms, move them forward and back or across the water. Once you’re comfortable with these movements, you may want to consider increasing speed and how hard you push or pull with the movement. Pool noodles under the arms can help support you while you bicycle your legs.
These are simple things to start you off on an aquatic program. Once you’re comfortable with these and in the water, start to play! The more you move, the better off for you. If you like it swim, add lap swimming. Flutterkicks while holding a kickboard are a great way to start for non-swimmers.
The biggest thing to remember when being in the pool: protect yourself from too much sun and drink plenty of water!
Again, be playful in the water. There’s no right or wrong. Get in there and have fun!
New Beginning Physical Therapy, Inc. provides the highest level of rehabilitative care available. Our therapists are all highly trained and licensed physical therapy professionals. Our Passion is to make a dramatic, positive impact in our clients’ lives. We love what we do! Nothing could be more rewarding for us than facilitating your path to wellness. We are in Palm Desert, California, and serve the entire Coachella Valley.