We all know that exercise has benefits. But when it comes to lupus and other autoimmune diseases, exercise that is non-weight bearing can be much more beneficial. In many cases that exercise is swimming, because there are very few risks involved.
Swimming decreases arthritis pain; but wait, it hurts to get up, get going and get into the pool. In a short few weeks, once you commit to making swimming part of your day, not just ‘squeezing it in when you have nothing better to do,’ you’ll begin to notice the flexibility, anti-arthritic benefits of swimming. Eventually, as you stick with it and work up to it, swimming just a half hour a day will burn 476 .calories.
Why did I mention 476 calories? Well, every 3500 calories burned subtracts a pound from your weight. It only takes @7 x 30 minute swim sessions to lose that pound. So, swimming 30 minutes is too much? Start at 10 or 15 minutes and before you know it, you’ve worked your way up to 30 minutes or an hour. If you can swim one hour for 3 1/2 times, you’d lose that same pound. And we all know that weight increases the load on our joints. Even the loss of 5# can make a different to those with arthritic problems of the knees and hips.
The most important thing; SET A GOAL FOR YOURSELF THAT IS REALISTIC. If you know you can knock off 30 minutes easily, set a goal of 45 minutes or 1 hour. But if you’re relatively new to swimming, think small. Take a water aerobics class to get used to the water and get your heart and lungs used to the work; then try a 15 minute swim. Do 15 minutes for a while and then try 25 or 30 minutes.
Inquire and see if your health insurance company offers Silver Sneakers benefits, a program for those who are 65, have Medicare Advantage Plans or Medicare Supplement plans. You can check your eligibility here Most benefits are free and at many ‘Y’s and health clubs, such as ‘Curves™’ ‘Bally’s.™’ Many swim to decrease joint pain, one of the major benefits of swimming.
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