Aquatic Aerobics Can Keep the Aching Joints in Motion

Aquatic Aerobics Can Keep the Aching Joints in Motion

Created on: Friday, August 25, 2017
Author: Eric Solis (2017 Summer Intern)

Staying active with aching joints can present a problem for people of all ages. Summer intern Eric Solis (University of Wisconsin) recently looked into activity options for patients suffering osteoarthritis.  
While most think of the pool as a source of fun and relaxation, water has huge potential as a setting for all sorts of exercise. Aquatic aerobics provides a low-impact, joint-friendly alternative to traditional cardiovascular exercise, and you don’t even need to know how to swim (though it usually helps). 
Water aerobics is defined as the performance of cardiovascular exercise in shallow water, and you can find hundreds of great ones with a quick search online. While this may seem unnecessary, there are several benefits to working out in a pool when compared to dry land training. Traditional cardiovascular exercise, such as running, can put lots of stress on the joints of the body, especially in the hips and knees, potentially resulting in discomfort, swelling, and persistent pain. While in water, the body weighs much less, giving these joints a break from the day-to-day loads they experience.
Persons with osteoarthritis (OA), a type of degenerative joint condition, may have trouble completing exercises on dry land without pain. OA severity and discomfort can be correlated to weight, which is why overweight persons are at a much higher risk for the condition. Reduction of weight has shown to be an effective way to decrease pain in patients with OA. While traditional work-outs will encourage weight loss and reduce the symptoms associated with OA, the stresses experienced by the joints while exercising may cause additional pain; the low-impact alternative offered by water aerobics is a pain-free solution.
Persons suffering from OA of the lower joints have been shown to receive exceptional benefit from aquatic-based exercise regimens. Studies have found that consistent water-based exercise can have effects that improve function and decrease pain in a joint affected by OA. However, aquatic exercise is not only for those with OA: anyone can benefit from this unique type of workout. So get to your local pool and get your heart pumping! It will thank you later.
Allina offers a variety of classes and open swims for people of all fitness levels at several locations around the twin cities. Visit the Allina Health website for more information on water health resource available from Allina by selecting “Aquatics” in the topic section. 
Bartels EM, Juhl CB, Christensen R, Hagen KB, Danneskiold‐Samsøe B, Dagfinrud H, Lund H. Aquatic Exercise for the Treatment of Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD005523.

Add Comment

Name (*)
Email (*)
Article Title (*)
Message (*)
*Required Fields

Blog Home