Instead of just saying exercise more, doctors should suggest water jogging to their patients with fibromyalgia and arthritis. It is one of the most effective forms of exercise that involves little risk of injury.
I have been frustrated with the weight I have gained since breaking my ribs last year and the time spent in bed this year due to severe abdominal issues. Unable to exercise as I did in 2017 and 2018 without injuring myself, I began examining past forms of exercise to figure out what I could do without incurring further injuries.
I began by listing every type of physical activity that aided in weight loss in the past. Next, I listed the injuries and length of recovery time that occurred with each exercise. The only one to not have an injury listed next to it was water walking and jogging.
Sound too good to be true?
Walking and jogging in water provides an intense workout without the risks and injuries involved with doing the same on land.
And as long as you have access to an indoor or heated outdoor pool, this wonderful physical activity can be done all year long!
I have tried many forms of exercise throughout my chronic life, but there is only one that I return to time and time again. One reason water jogging/walking is my go-to physical activity is because it is the one form that doesn’t increase the pain I experience from fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. But wait, there is more!
And that’s not all!!!
When water walking or jogging, I always wear a floatation belt. By doing so, I don’t have to worry about when and if my bad knee is going to fail me. If it goes out and causes a fall, the worst that happens is that I go underwater for a second before my flotation belt returns me to the surface. And because I do not walk/jog in the water of great depth, I am never under for more than a few seconds if even that.
Falling on land has resulted in bruised bones, sprained ankles, cuts, and more. When falling in water, my legs float behind or in front of me.
I have the worst balance ever! Seriously, I can and have fallen over while standing straight and still!!!
Walking in water makes staying upright throughout my walk/jog much easier than when doing the same on the ground. And if I do happen to tilt to one side or the other the water and my floatation belt bring me right back. Sorta like a Weeble! I wobble, but don’t fall down!! Ha Ha!!
Unlike on land, water jogging and walking allows me to be who I used to be before fibromyalgia and arthritis, a person who could walk without the assistance of a mobility aid.
Walking on land causes pain in my ankles, knees, hips, and spine. Every walk required running of treatments before, during, and afterward. And forget jogging, there was no way that my arthritic knees would ever allow that.
Yet when I jog or walk in a pool, I do not experience the same pain. Nor do I have to run treatments as often. At the most, I run one or two treatments afterward if my knees act up.
While I may not walk as fast in water as I do on land, I get a better workout because my body is pushing the weight of the water. And I have several pairs of water jogging shoes that make it painless for my feet!
Water jogging can be done when I want. Unlike attending water aerobics, water jogging doesn’t require a class or instructor. As long as I have access to a pool, I can choose to exercise whenever I want.
Unless experiencing a severe flare, water jogging is something that actually soothes the daily pain of fibromyalgia and arthritis. The movement is gentle compared to the harsh impact my body experiences with land exercises.
With the current pandemic restrictions in California, I am quite frustrated. Gyms have to wait until we reach the third tier of our state’s four-tier reopening plan. I had hope as we had just spent a month at the second tier. Then earlier this week we were sent back down to the first tier.
Not willing to wait another year or longer for the physical therapy my body desperately needs, I am looking into other options. One of which is an above-ground pool and solar heater.
Great for Overall Health
My favorite perk of water jogging with fibromyalgia and arthritis is how quickly I build muscle strength and burn calories with such simple movements.
One way I used to, and plan to do again once I have access to a pool, work on my upper arm/back strength is by using water dumbbells. They provide just the right amount of resistance needed to work my muscles without injuring them or my joints.
Have you tried water jogging as a regular form of exercise? If so, how has the pandemic impacted your efforts? If not, why?
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