Georgia offers its residents beautiful, hot days each summer. While working on feeling better and regaining strength in physical therapy is extremely beneficial, patients often have a strong desire to be outside when it’s so beautiful. So why not liven up PT exercises and take to in the pool?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the buoyancy of the water supports a portion of your body weight making it easier to move in a pool and improve your flexibility. The water also provides resistance to movements that helps to strengthen muscles. Pool exercises can also improve agility, balance, and cardiovascular fitness. Many types of conditions greatly benefit from pool exercise, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, joint replacements, neurological, and balance conditions. The pool environment also reduces the risk of falls when compared to exercise on land.
Below are some tips from Move Forward to help you have more fun this summer at PT or in a pool near you:
Preparing for the Pool
Before starting any pool exercise program, always check with your physical therapist or physician to make sure pool exercises are right for you. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Water shoes will help to provide traction on the pool floor
- Water level can be waist or chest high
- Use a Styrofoam noodle or floatation belt/vest to keep you afloat in deeper water
- Slower movements in the water will provide less resistance than faster movements
- You can use webbed water gloves, Styrofoam weights, inflated balls, or kickboards for increased resistance
- Never push your body through pain during any exercise
- Although you will not sweat with pool exercises, it is still important to drink plenty of water
10 Excellent Exercises for the Pool
- Water walking or jogging
- Forward and side lunges
- One leg balance
- Hip kickers at pool wall
- Pool planks
- Deep water bicycle
- Arm raises
- Wall push-ups
- Standing knee lift
Read more about the suggested exercises here.
Physical therapists are available to help you reach your fitness goals while achieving long-term health benefits. Using their knowledge of mobility, motion and management, they can devise safe exercise plans that improve your quality of life, while avoiding the risk of overtraining.
Find a PT in your area to get started with your custom fitness plan.
For additional resources on fitness safety and overtraining prevention from American Physical Therapy Association and the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia visit www.moveforwardpt.com or www.ptagonline.org.