Enjoy the recent heat wave by getting in the pool! Each summer in Northeastern Pennsylvania people open their pools for fun in the sun. However, this summer I urge you to look at your pleasure puddle in different light…a health spa! It may very well be the exercise of choice for many people. Many have discovered the benefits of moving their limbs in the warm water of a home pool following knee or shoulder surgery. Also, long distance runners who often look for cross training methods without joint compression and arthritis sufferers who are often limited in exercise choices by joint pain from compressive forces when bearing weight, can enjoy the buoyancy effects of water. These are good examples of the benefits or water exercise…aerobic and resistive exercise without joint compression.
Most doctors recommend some form of exercise with arthritis. Pain and fatigue are the most limiting factors for the person with arthritis. Pool exercise may be the answer. With proper technique, adequate rest periods, appropriate resistance and repetitions, water exercise can be very effective.
The following are some of the benefits of water exercise:
1. Start Slowly – Don’t Overdo it
2. Submerge The Body Part that you want to exercise into the water and move it slowly
3. Complete The Range of Motion: Initially 5 times, then 10-15-20-30 times
4. Assess: Determine if you have pain 3-4 hours after you exercise or into the next day. If so, you overdid it and should make adjustments next time by decreasing repetitions, speed, amount and intensity of exercise.
5. Warm-Up. Make sure you warm up slowly before the exercise with slow and easy movements.
6. Advance Slowly. By adding webbed gloves, weighted boots, and buoyant barbells to increase the resistance.
7. Exercises – standing in shallow end of pool
Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.
NEXT MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum!”
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an affiliated faculty member at the University of Scranton, PT Dept.