Water exercise can be good for those with arthritis

Many people come to the Chenango Water Exercise Group due to a common affliction that many get as they grow older: osteoarthritis. Whether from weight gain, not enough activity, too much activity (believe it or not), or because of genetic disposition, it is a fact of life for a large portion of the population. Aquatic exercise is one of the best ways to combat this disease because of the low impact and gentle resistance water offers when a person is in the pool doing a workout. But there is another form of arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that attacks your joint tissue.

Usually centered in the smaller joints, fingers, hands and feet, it causes inflammation in the area and as a result swelling and pain while moving. While there is no cure for this there are things that can be done to ease the pain and inflammation. Newer drugs can be prescribed to slow the progression and make moving more comfortable. But, of course, since I am writing this, there is another avenue of treatment: water exercise!

With RA, staying healthy is one of the keys to managing the disease. Maintaining a healthy weight certainly helps as does regular exercise. Here is where the pool and CWEG comes in. Aquatic workouts offer a low impact, slight resistance type routines that fit well with those with RA. The water provides an environment without the pounding, focusing on the endurance and flexibility needed to keep the joints limber and strong.

Studies are being done to see if yoga and tai chi can also provide relief from the symptoms and once again CWEG is on the cutting edge. We offer an Ai Chi class (tai chi in the water) that targets these areas while doing slow stretching movement. Give us a call and check us out.

{Q}The Chenango Water Exercise Group is a volunteer run, not-for-profit group whose primary goal is to assist in maintaining and improving total general fitness and the sense of well-being through aquatic exercise. For more information, call April Cady at 228-7621 from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.{Q}

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