How aquatic exercise benefits general fitness
can sometimes be overwhelming and a little frightening. Aquatic exercise can be a useful starting point on the road to long-term self-management of arthritis," she says.
- Recently undergone surgery (such as a joint replacement)
- Have an open wound, skin condition or current infection
- Have an uncontrolled heart condition, heart disease or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
How to start aqua exercising
- Join an aqua fitness class and take it easy. "Know that you don't have to work as hard as everyone else. Even if you just march on the spot for half the time, that's totally fine."
- Go to a pool and walk up and down for 10 to 15 minutes. "Again, take it nice and slow. That's going to give the lowest load for your joints."
- Add some squats and calf raises. Start with small, slow movements in deeper water. This puts the least load on your joints. She recommends starting with 10 to 30 repetitions, two or three days per week. Don't stay in the pool longer than 15 or 20 minutes the first couple of times. After a few weeks, you can try moving into shallower water and increasing the size of your movements and repetitions.
- For a more structured programme, see a physio for specific advice. Seeing a health professional – like your GP or physio – is also recommended if you haven't been active or have other medical concerns.