You know you need to exercise…but it is so uncomfortable! Your back hurts, your knees hurt…. EVERYTHING HURTS!! Well, my friend, it is time for you to (safely) ease on into the pool. (OK, maybe give it a few more weeks though so you don’t freeze….it is literally snowing in April guys…. APRIL!)
“How is floating on a water noodle going to help you get in shape?” Um, it won’t. However, if you actively engage in swimming you will be able to reap the rewards of improved health and decrease the risk or severity of chronic illnesses. The best part is that exercising in the water won’t put any extra stress on your joints. While it only takes 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise a week to enjoy these health benefits, in this relaxing environment, free from pain, you may find yourself clocking in longer sessions.
An added bonus to water exercising is that it is also good for your mental health. Swimming can actually boost your mood, improving anxiety and depression in some people.
Of course, this isn’t for everybody. If you cannot swim, please do not jump into the nearest body of water with reckless abandon. However, do investigate swimming lessons with a qualified instructor to help you get more confident in the water. If you have questions or concerns about your state of health before beginning an exercise program, contact your provider for a comprehensive exam.
-Brooke Rieth, NP