How to Relieve Arthritis with Water Aerobics


Water aerobics offers a great way for patients suffering from arthritis to exercise. Exercising remains an important part of treating arthritis in order for patients to keep the mobility of their joints. Water makes the body feel lighter, takes pressure off joints and allows arthritis patients to move more easily and comfortably. Water aerobics can help reduce pain and stiffness in joints and provides a good way to relax.

1. Discuss with your physical therapist about water aerobics and ask what temperature the water should hold in your case. Usually people engage in water aerobics in warm water, with temperatures between 82 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures outside these limits will make you feel uncomfortable and will not serve as efficiently at relieving pain.

2. Warm up your joints and muscles before beginning water aerobics. Sit on the side of the pool and gently elevate your joints. Make round movements with your hands and feet, and rotate your knees, elbows, wrists and ankles. After getting into the water, start walking in the pool for a few minutes. Stretch for another couple of minutes. The warm up should take 10 to 15 minutes. You must warm up your joints to avoid unnecessary injury during later exercises.

3. Do slow and gentle movements in the beginning, and move to more difficult exercises only after a few sessions when you have gained some endurance. Your heartbeat will rise and you will start breathing faster as you continue with your exercises. Water aerobics benefit your joints and also keeps you heart healthy.

4. Follow the exercises the therapist indicates. It is better to do water aerobics with a physical therapist, at least in the beginning, until you learn the moves. If you feel too tired or your joints start to experience pain, stop exercising and take a break. Don’t push yourself too hard.

5. Exercises done in water prove very effective for the muscles because your joints feel almost no pressure since water displaces most of your body weight. Pretend you are riding a bicycle under water, jump around, make jogging movement and pretend you are skiing.

6. A water aerobics session lasts around 30 minutes. Take your time afterward to swim if you feel like it. Swimming offers another good way for arthritis patients to train their bodies without damaging their joints.

7. To avoid injury, wear rubber-soled sandals in the pool. The bottom of the pool or its sides can prove slippery, and a slip or fall can cause more damage to an arthritis patient.

8. Combine water aerobics with massage therapy. One-half hour of massage after water aerobics proves very relaxing and will do wonders for your pain and any stiffness left in your joints.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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