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Can exercising in a pool reduce arthritis symptoms?

By now, you probably know that having a swimming pool, especially one with a salt system, offers you many benefits, from the ability to host awesome parties to the capability to relieve stress. But did you know that your pool is also a great way to work exercise into your daily routine? Even people who have pain associated with arthritis can take advantage of the pool when it comes to doing exercises to warm up their joints and improve strength and flexibility. If you’ve been feeling stiff lately because of your arthritis, a dip in the pool may be just the thing to loosen up.

Why is exercise important for those with arthritis?
There are many reasons why exercise is a vital aspect of staying healthy, even for people who have arthritis. It may seem like with the stiffness and achiness of your joints, there’s no way you’ll be able to exercise properly, but the fact of the matter is that exercise can ease your pain and loosen up your joints, making moving around much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps to strengthen your bones and muscles, increase your energy levels, facilitate better sleep, maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall well-being.

What types of exercises should someone with arthritis do?
The Mayo Clinic states that there are three main types of exercises that people with arthritis should engage in: range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises and aerobic exercises. Range-of-motion exercises combat stiffness and allow you to keep your joints functioning properly. Some of these moves are as simple as raising your arms over your head or rotating your neck. Strengthening moves work to build muscles, which in turn protects and strengthens your joints. Using weights to do bicep curls is one example of a type of strengthening exercise. Finally, aerobic exercises work to improve overall fitness by strengthening your cardiovascular system. Walking and swimming are two types of low-impact aerobic activities that those with arthritis can do, according to the source.

Where does a pool come into play?
You may be wondering how swimming in your pool after you schedule Phoenix pool maintenance will help improve your arthritis symptoms. While swimming might seem more like a fun activity rather than a workout, it’s actually a great place to exercise for many reasons. For example, a swimming pool is a much gentler environment because it’s impossible to fall and injure yourself and the cushioning of the water makes moving around a lot easier.

“For people that have joint issues, it reduces the damage that can be caused,” Denise Leonard, the Decatur Family YMCA’s health and wellness director, told the Herald & Review, a Central Illinois news source. “If you have weight issues, it takes some of the stress off your joints and allows you to do a little bit more because you’re not supporting the excess weight.”

Doing pool workouts is also beneficial because it helps you avoid overheating and, since it’s pretty enjoyable, you’ll be more likely to stick with a routine.

What’s a good routine to follow?
A pool workout should start the same way as any other workout, with a period of stretching and warming up. Begin by getting yourself acclimated to the water and moving your arms, legs, neck, hands and feet slowly in range-of-motion exercises to get your blood flowing. When you feel loosened up, walk or jog in the water for five minutes or so to get your heart pumping a bit. Then, choose an aerobic activity to do for 15 minutes or so, then move on to an equal amount of time spent doing strengthening exercises. To finish up, do 10 minutes of a cool-down activity similar to the ones you used to warm up.