Swimming to Relieve Knee Pain
Swimming offers so much to those who do it regularly and even if you can't swim there are lots of benefits to moving around in the water.
- It's low impact. If you're carrying extra weight or already have a joint problem within your back or legs being in the water immediately provide buoyancy to take the pressure off. The deeper you go into the water, the more of your body weight is supported. If you were going to start with walking in water instead of swimming, between the belly button and chest water height is ideal, remember, the more of you which is under the water the less weight through your joints. As a double benefit, if you are in the pool to chest depth you'll also be having a great workout as the water provides great resistance to movement too.
- It increases external hydrostatic pressure, this means as you get into the water, your body parts are taking up space where water used to be. The water all around you exerts a pressure against you and you exert a pressure back on it. The result of this is improved circulation and improved lymphatic drainage which is the body's system of ridding itself off all the waste products that accumulate through natural body processes (cell renewal/healing etc), as well as external toxins, alcohol, nicotine, free radicals, medication. As the lymphatic system doesn't have a pump like the heart it relies on movement to do its job effectively. This is where is just 5 minutes can have a big impact on overall well-being.
- Your brain will get sharper! Ever noticed your balance and coordination aren't what they used to be? The brain needs to practice all it's skills to stay good at them, just like memory and mental arithmetic coordination takes practice and that's where swimming comes in. Just like an exercise class, anything that involves moving your arms and legs at the same time reinforces coordination, if coordination is improved so is reaction time and this will carry over into all your other tasks of living.
- You don't have to swim. Just move! You don't have to have great coordination and you could have the bone density of a concrete block exercising in the water still has its benefits. Moving your legs back and forth against the water resistance can be as beneficial as doing leg presses at the gym if you have a leg injury. Walking, running, side steps, marching and cycling are all movement's you can do to raise your heart rate, release those endorphins and become a fitter, healthier version of yourself.
- It's stress busting. Once you're in the water is just you. You can forget what anyone looks like in their trunks and costume. You can unwind and mentally unclog from your day. If you're an early bird is a great way to start the day as your brain has the opportunity to prepare and focus on the day ahead, set goals and a positive mindset. Your brain can be doing a lot to boost your confidence and self-esteem while your body is working hard, making effort and will reap the physical rewards.
Want less pain on land?
Invest in yourself and grab a knee support to relieve pain and help your joints become more flexible and easier to walk with.