Swimming is essential for those with arthritis. It strengthens the muscles, improves flexibility, reduces joint pain and more. Swimming is one type of exercise that arthritis patients can especially benefit from due to the fact that swimming is such a low-impact sport. In fact, you only need to swim for a short period of time in order to see benefits.
- It is a pain-free exercise
- It loosens your joints and improves stiffness
- It reduces pain
- Minimizes many of the complications associated with arthritis
- Promotes relaxation
In the past, patients with arthritis were encouraged to rest to alleviate pain. This isn’t the case anymore. However, many patients still choose not to exercise because they find it too painful, which is precisely why swimming is so beneficial.
Due to the buoyancy of the water and the fact that you don’t need to place any stress upon your joints, you receive all of the benefits of aerobic exercise, including cardiovascular benefits, and you will be able to build muscle strength all without any pain or swelling of your joints afterwards. Similarly, there little to no recovery time as there generally is with other forms of exercise. It also improves energy levels, which is another factor that can prevent arthritis patients from exercising.
Whether you choose to walk through the water or swim laps, swimming loosens up your joints and improves any stiffness.
By building your muscles via swimming, you end up putting less stress on your joints. In turn, you experience less pain as a result. In addition, if you swim in a heated pool (82 to 88 degrees), this, too, also reduces pain and can be very enjoyable for arthritis patients.
There are many complications/risk factors associated with arthritis, including an increased risk of depression. Exercise and swimming, in particular, can greatly improve mental well being and improve quality of life in general. Arthritis patients are also at an increased risk of falls, and swimming can improve balance and build muscle strength, both of which reduce the risk of falling.
Water has a very relaxing quality about it. This relaxing quality is enhanced even further if you can manage to swim in a heated pool.
An important note: When incorporating any new form of exercise, such as swimming, arthritis patients should always consult their doctor first.
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