6 Ways Swimming Is Good for Joint Health
Looking to improve the health of your joints without your arthritis flaring up? Swimming might be just what the doctor ordered. Swimming works every muscle in the body and helps you maintain your joints without the dreaded joint pain. If you’re nervous or skeptical about getting in your backyard pool, remember that swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for your joints. You’ll lose weight, build muscle and reduce joint pain. The alternative, sitting still and not exercising at all, will only make your joint pain worse. Learn more about how swimming improves joint health.
You need to stay active in order to keep your joints healthy and functional. But running on the sidewalk or hitting the treadmill can do damage to your joints over time. That’s why low-impact exercises like swimming and biking tend to be the best bet when it comes to improving and maintaining joint health. The water in inground or aboveground pools adds resistance that helps you build muscle and stay active without damaging your joints. You don’t need to slam your foot against the pavement or bend your limbs as often to get the same effect. You can do a variety of strokes and exercises in the pool that supports joint health without doing more harm than good.
Carrying around all that extra body weight isn’t doing your joints any favors. Your joints have to work harder to support your body if you are overweight or obese. Losing weight and getting back to a healthy body mass index can help you relieve your joint pain and improve the health of your joints. Maintaining a balanced diet and staying under 2,000 calories a day will also help you avoid doing damage to your joints.
If you’re overweight and you’re looking to burn some calories, running on the treadmill might make your joint pain worse. That’s why swimming can be so beneficial. You can burn calories and trim your waistline without damaging your joints.
Some individuals with joint pain may avoid physical activity altogether because their joints will start to hurt after a few minutes of exercise. But sitting still all day will only make your joint pain worsen over time. As counterintuitive as working your joints may seem when you’re struggling with joint pain, exercising regularly can reduce joint pain, improve joint functionality and your overall quality of life.
The first time you step into the pool and try swimming, you might experience some joint pain, but if you slowly work through this initial discomfort, you should see some improvement over time. If you’re struggling with joint pain or arthritis, your doctor might prescribe medication which can help you through this process. They might also recommend certain exercises or stretches that can help you prepare for your first dip in the pool.
Low muscle mass might be one of the factors contributing to your joint pain. If you don’t have a lot of muscle on your body, your body will have no choice but to put added pressure on your joints. Your joints will be responsible for helping you sit or stand up, which can worsen their condition over time.
If you’re adamant about staying active and building muscle, your body will use your muscles to help you get around instead of your joints. That’s why swimming might be just what you’ve been looking for. Swimming works just about every muscle in your body, including your arms, legs, and core. As you continue building muscle, your body will depend less and less on your joints over time, helping you preserve this vital part of your body for many years to come.
Improve Your Posture
Slouching your back will only make your joint pain worse. Poor posture can force your body to move your joints in unnatural ways that can contribute to your overall discomfort. But, if you’re like many people who suffer from joint pain, maintaining good posture can be difficult if you experience pain day-in and day-out. But swimming can help you improve your posture over time as you learn how to complete a range of exercises in the pool. Swimming automatically engages the parts of your body that you might not otherwise use. Your back and neck will get stronger over time as you continue practicing laps in the pool. The stronger these parts of your body are, the easier it will be to maintain good posture.
Strengthen Your Core
It all comes back to your core. Your core muscles help you stay balanced and maintain good posture. Luckily, when you’re swimming, you’ll work your core muscles every time you take a stroke in the pool. It will be easier to keep yourself in an upright position throughout the day, which helps you go easier on your joints. If you’re moving around or trying to keep your balance, your body will rely on your core muscles instead of putting excess pressure on your joints. You can move around with ease and you will have a toned midsection that you can use to keep your body in the proper position.
As difficult as exercising with joint pain can be, staying still all day is simply not an option. You need to stay active when trying to curb your joint pain. But instead of running on the treadmill or doing other high-intensity exercises, swimming can help you relieve your joint pain without the added discomfort. You may need to ease into the exercise at first, but over time you will lose weight, build muscle and improve your posture–all of which will improve the health of your joints.