Pool Exercise for Arthritis

Table of Contents

How This Helps

Arthritis is characterized by chronic inflammation in the joints.[1] Osteoarthritis (OA) is brought on by the degeneration of cartilage through mechanical wear and tear. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the inflammation is caused by the body’s own immune system. However, regardless of the arthritis you suffer with, both resistance and aerobic exercise will help reduce inflammation and possibly help reduce pain. The key for arthritis sufferers is to choose exercises that are low impact and easy on the joints. 

[1] Prefix “artho” which means joint and the suffix “itis” which means inflammation

Science and Research

Exercise Tip


            For arthritis patients looking to begin exercise, the best place to start is in the pool! The pool offers a low impact, safe environment and offsets the fall risk that those suffering with joint pain often encounter. Begin simply by walking laps back and forth at a comfortable pace. The key when starting out is simply to get the joints moving again. When walking becomes less challenging, try high knees and butt kickers:


High Knees

1.    Stand in place and lift your knee past your hip or as high as you can lift it

2.    Hold for 2 seconds

3.    Switch to the other knee

4.    Aim for 5 to 10 reps on each knee

Butt Kickers

1.    Stand in place and lift your heel and try to touch it your buttock

2.    Hold for 2 seconds

3.    Switch to the other leg

4.    Aim for 5 to 10 reps on each knee


*Always be sure that you exercise at your own pace and all movement should be PAIN FREE! If something hurts, stop immediately.


Science and Research

            The latest research regarding arthritis treatment shows that exercise is a critical part of a treatment plan. In contrast to previous belief that resting the joints was the best option, keeping the joints moving and active can help reduce pain and maintain function.  IDEA fitness journal recommends consulting a professional for personalized exercise recommendations.


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