If there’s any doubt that swimming is beneficial for those with arthritis, all anyone has to do is look at all the classes being held specifically for those with joint conditions. They’re scheduled at disparate locations ranging from health clubs and schools to public pools and physical therapy practices. Swimming is one of the most beneficial types of exercise for those with arthritis and a wide variety of joint-related conditions.
For a truly therapeutic session, make sure the pool will be heated. Swimming utilizes every muscle in the body, stimulates circulation, improves vascular health, and helps build strength. It eases pain, stiffness, and improves flexibility. However, the real advantage of swimming for people with arthritis is the water itself.
An individual in the water isn’t supporting the entirety of their own weight or experiencing the full effect of gravity due to the buoyancy that water provides. That makes it easier to move and reduces the stress on bones and joints. It’s not weightlessness but offers a small taste of what astronauts experience. A person weighing 100 pounds on land will feel like they weigh about 69 pounds in the water.
Water provides buoyancy and relieves the forces of gravity on the body. Less effort has to be expended to move, which places less stress on the body. The amount of water that a body displaces is equal to the upward amount of buoyancy. The buoyancy factor of water helps support and hold a person up.
There’s a misconception that swimming for arthritis relief is primarily for seniors. Swimming is equally advantageous for people of all ages. Anyone experiencing soreness, pain, or difficult movement can benefit. Swimming is also an excellent exercise for anyone experiencing lingering effects from accidents. It’s always best to ensure that the sessions will be monitored or a lifeguard is on duty for complete safety.
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