Every time you take a step, you put three to seven times the weight of your
body on your joints. Take that same step in water, and the natural buoyancy of
H2O gently lifts the pressure off your joints, while still allowing
you to work your muscles.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include joint pain and progressive stiffness that develops gradually.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include painful swelling, inflammation, and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs, and wrists occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body, especially upon awakening.
Symptoms of infectious arthritis may include fever, chills, joint inflammation, tenderness, and sharp pain that is associated with an injury or infection elsewhere in your body.
Stand in water that's about waist high or a little deeper -- just
as long as you're able to plant your feet on the bottom -- and hold your arms
out to your sides for balance. Put your left foot in front of your right. Raise
and bend your left knee. Then hop forward, pushing off with your right foot,
landing on the left foot. Do it again, keeping the heel of the right foot up,
pushing off with the toes and ball of the foot. Do this several
If you were to do this on dry land, the impact of landing would jar your
joints, making you wince and holler, notes Bernard Rubin, chief of rheumatology
at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. In the water, however, the
landing is soft because the water slows you down and buoys you up.
Nevertheless, you're giving your leg muscles a good workout and you're
increasing your heart rate.
During exercise, you should raise your heart rate to 50-75% of your maximum
heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is your age subtracted from the number 220.
So, if you're 60, your maximum heart rate is 160 beats per minute. If you
haven't worked out in a long time, stay around 50% of your maximum while
exercising: That's 80 beats per minute. After you've been exercising regularly
for a while, try getting it up to 120 beats per minute, which is 75% of the