The American Heart Association recommends that the average adults gets 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week, which equates to 30 minutes 5 times per week. However, for many with joint pain due to injury, pregnancy, or preexisting medical conditions, completing 30 minutes of land based activity can be challenging or intolerable.
One solution to this problem is to hop in the water. If you are in the water up to your hips you have reduced the weight on your joints by about 40%, and if you move in a little further, up to your waist, you will reduce the weight on your joints by about 50%. Going even further, once you are shoulder-deep you have now reduced the weight on your joints by about 85%! Water aerobics, water walking, and leisurely swimming are great ways to incorporate moderate activity into your week. If you want to up the intensity, then swim laps and incorporate different strokes (freestyle, breast stroke, back stroke), or try water jogging.
Apart from reducing joint stress, water-based exercise also has other health benefits. According to the Center for Disease Control aquatic exercise has also been shown to improve mental health, improve quality of life for the elderly or disabled, and can help preserve bone health in women. Additionally, water has greater resistance than air, which allows for improved muscle strength. For some people, this can mean less joint pain when out of the water. However, with any new exercise routine, make sure that you have received clearance from your doctor or physical therapist before beginning.
Our Wellness Center offers a couple of different options for those that are looking to get their workouts done in the water. We have an indoor water aerobics class that meets twice a week for four weeks (Tu/Th 6:15A-7A) at the AmericInn pool, and an outdoor water aerobics class that meets twice a week until August 7 (M/W 9A-9:45A) at the Windom pool.
We hope to include more water-based classes in the future, and would eventually like to offer more time/date options for our water aerobics classes. You can always find out more information about any of our class offerings by stopping in at the Wellness Center Monday-Thursday 8A-6P and Friday 8A-5P, or by calling 507-831-0672.
Blog Written By: Lindsey Englar, Health & Wellness Coordinator