Swimming and Your Joints
Every joint in the human body is cushioned by cartilage that allows the body to move smoothly. As we age, the cartilage begins to deteriorate due to wear and tear, which can result in pain and stiffness. Swimming, including water aerobics, is a great option to stay active without causing further damage to joints.
Why do joints wear down? – A few common reasons for joint degeneration include aging, overuse, or conditions such as arthritis. High impact exercises, such as running, can cause cartilage to deteriorate faster than low impact exercises such as swimming due to the amount of weight placed on the joint with each step. Experiencing some wear and tear as you age is normal, but in extreme cases of pain and stiffness, a form of arthritis may be to blame for some people.
How does swimming protect joints? – Many people find that staying active helps prevent further damage to joints and ease pain. The near weightlessness of swimming may make exercise more comfortable for people with joint problems. For this same reason, range of motion improves within the water. Swimming also provides an opportunity for aerobic exercise, something that is typically associated with moderate to high-impact activities.
Put simply, swimming takes less of a toll on your joints than other exercises while still providing cardiovascular and muscle strengthening benefits.
What do I do if my joint pain limits my daily activities? – If joint pain and stiffness is disrupting your life, consider seeing a medical professional.
The summer pool schedule goes into effect Saturday, 6/10. View the schedule online.