As I’ve said before exercise is a great way to reduce inflammation and ultimately improve your overall health. A great way to exercise is to swim. Any movement in water is generally very safe, whether it’s swimming laps, water aerobics or simply walking in the water.
Exercising in the water offers several benefits:
- Water buoyancy helps to protect recuperating knees, ankles and hips.
- Great for individuals looking for exercise, but unable to walk far enough out of the water to effectively burn calories.
- Aquatic exercise reduces pain and increases flexibility.
- Water supports and massages the body as you exercise.
- All of the benefits of land exercise—without the sweat.
- Can reduce blood pressure, stress and risk of injury.
- It’s fun!
Swimming is one of the best exercises for people with lymphedema because the hydrostatic pressure of the water provides compression on your limbs. The pressure of the water massages your body and ultimately helps with detoxification.
There are several ways to get into the swim of things in our area. Simpkins Swim Center offers a number of inexpensive programs for beginners and advanced swimmers. The adult fitness swim program has classes for all levels of swimmers, there are water aerobics classes at all levels and there are special classes for those with arthritis or limited mobility. Simpkins offers four pools including a 50-meter, 18-lane lap pool used for lap swimming, water polo and water aerobics and a 43k gallon warm water pool with a zero depth entry ramp for easy wheel chair access. The temperature in this pool is kept at a warm 88 degrees and is used for therapy and recreational swimming.
In addition to Simpkins Swim Center, there are a number of private swimming clubs and gyms that offer swimming programs. You can also find a listing of classes Dominican Hospital’s PEP Classes Catalog. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any fitness program and be sure to start off at a pace that you are comfortable with.
What’s your favorite place to “dive in” and get wet—a pool, lake or river?