Water Exercise Tips for Osteoarthritis


Exercising in the water can be wonderful for patients with osteoarthritis. The water greatly reduces concussion on the joints, and it also provides support to make movements easier. Over time, water exercise for osteoarthritis strengthens the muscles, which can reduce the strain on your joints even when you're on dry land. 

If you have osteoarthritis and plan on working out in the pool, here are some tips to guide you.

Talk To Your Doctor First

It's a good idea for anyone to check with their doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. But this is especially important for OA patients. Your doctor will ensure you're in good enough health to safely participate in water exercise for osteoarthritis. They may also give you some guidelines to adhere to. For example, they may tell you to keep your workouts to 30 minutes or less, at first.

Choose a Warm Pool

Warmer water temperatures keep your joints more limber, which makes exercise more comfortable and effective — especially when you have OA.

If the pool you're exercising in feels a bit on the chilly side, consider warming up in the spa or even in the shower before getting in the pool. This will ensure you start your pool workout with warm, limber muscles and joints. If you start off warm, you can make do with a pool that's not quite as warm.

Submerge Your Arthritic Joints

In order to get the full benefits of water exercise for osteoarthritis, your arthritic joints actually need to be in the water while you're moving them. So, if you have OA in your hips, make sure you're in water that's at last waist-high while you're exercising. If you have arthritis in your wrists, make sure they are in the water as you move them. It's helpful to do your workouts in a pool with varied depths so you can move into shallower or deeper water, as needed.

Move Slowly

You should never feel like you're rushing through a pool workout. Instead, aim to do each exercise slowly and deliberately. This will help you avoid putting too much strain on your joints. It will also ensure you maintain proper form when performing each exercise, which will make the exercises more effective.

Often, people with OA find it helpful to start their workouts with a very slow warm up. Once you're feeling looser and less achy, you can pick up the intensity a bit. Then, slow down again for a good cool-down.

Start Slowly With New Exercises

The first time you add a new exercise to your routine, don't overdo it. Just do a couple of repetitions, and see how your joints respond. If you are sore afterwards, then you may want to take it a bit easier next time. If you feel okay afterwards, then you can add a few more reps or another set the next time you work out.

With OA, it is easy to overdo it in the pool and not realize it until later. Starting slowly with new exercises helps you avoid this mistake.

Pool workouts can be really helpful for patients with osteoarthritis. Keep the tips above in mind as you begin exercising in the pool. Also make sure you have comfortable swimwear that helps you feel confident and supported. H2O Wear has plenty of attractive, well-made options to suit every body type and style preference. You'll be looking good and feeling limber in no time!

Back to Blog
We Welcome Your Comments Below: