Pool Exercises and Arthritis

5 Water Exercises to Ease the Pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Water exercises are perfect for arthritis sufferers because they strengthen muscles, increase your fitness levels and provide resistance without putting much pressure on your joints. Complemented by better balance and endurance, these benefits will definitely bring you to your nearest pool. If you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, aquatic exercises can be your ticket to pain-free land for a while. The following five will especially ensure that you feel (and look) your best and keep the pain at bay.

#1) Spiderman

Stand at one end of the pool and start running your legs up the side of the pool and then back to the floor. To stabilize your body, sweep your hands back and forth. This may be difficult at first, but try to do four turns, alternating the leading leg every time you finish one circuit.

#2) Water Planking

Planking, or lying down straight, is one of the oldest fads of the early 2000s. Since it exercises many parts of your body, you should try it, especially since the water will provide the compression necessary to keep your muscles from aching. Basically, stand on the floor while holding a water log vertically in both hands. Start pressing it straight down while learning forward; once you reach an even incline, hold your position for 1-2 minutes. Make sure to keep your head above the water to breathe.

#3) Water Cardio

Put your body to the test and start running from one of the pool to the other. To make this exercise interesting, run in a zigzag pattern first before running through the currents you created. Remember not to exceed three minute intervals before alternating to a less extensive exercise such as pool planking.

#4) One Leg Up

To improve your ability to balance yourself or take a break from the previous exercise, this workout is perfect. Stand in the shallow end of the pool where the water is waist-high, lift one knee and place the middle of the water log under that leg’s foot. With your hands firmly by your side, balance with your foot on the log for a minute. Move your knee to the side and balance for another minute before switching legs. If you can bear this exercise, make it more challenging by lifting both arms above your head.

#5) Cardio/Resistance Combo

Stretch your arms in front of you at chest height. Make sure that your palms are touching, fingers extended and thumbs are up. Open your arms wide and return them back to the initial position slowly. Simultaneously, straddle the water log and start pedaling around the pool. Make sure that your spine is vertical to force your core muscles to grow stronger. Continue this routine for three minutes.

While these exercises may seem easy, you shouldn’t be alone while performing them. Also, take the necessary safety measures by wearing proper swimming gear, such as a breathable swim cap and pool-friendly sneakers. Finally, talk to your physician if you’re uncomfortable at any point so that they can suggest better exercises for you.