Recent Arthritis Foundation Report Also Encourages Benefits of Water Exercise
The findings of the University of Minnesota study echo the call months earlier by the Arthritis Foundation for more physical activity for those with arthritis. The foundation’s report, issued May 2012, called educating those who suffer from arthritis about the benefits of exercise as an “urgent” task.
Dr. Park agrees. “So many people are affected by the disease and that number is expected to rise as the population of older Americans continues to rise.”
Dr. Park explains that while the University of Minnesota study found water aerobics as one of three forms of exercise helping those with arthritis, the study was at odds with benefits of other methods of pain management such as tai chi and massage. Dr. Park recommends the following to seniors with arthritis:
Checklist for Seniors Starting a Water Aerobics Regimen
-Check in with a physician before beginning a water aerobics routine. Those with arthritis often fear creating more pain or injury to their body. Clearance for physical activity is good common sense and a smart practice for those with arthritis.
-If taking a class, find a certified instructor. There are several associations that certify instructors including the Aquatic Exercise Association and the Arthritis Foundation.
-Begin exercise in moderation to avoid injury.
-To find an aquatics class in your area, contact your local Arthritis Foundation office by calling 1-800-283-7800.
-Individuals may also exercise safely on their own. The Arthritis Foundation has a 45 minute water exercise DVD.
-Water exercise may also be conducted in a bath tub at home focusing on the small muscle groups rather than the large muscle groups that require a pool or spa.
-Seniors who use the support of wheelchair or
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