Water Eases Stress of Exercise

If you think you're all washed up when it comes to exercise, you might need to dive into something new.

A few months ago, fibromyalgia had Lois Area thinking exercise was the last thing she could do. She says the condition tenses her muscles and makes it a lot harder to function.

But Lois dove into rehab, bypassing the gym and heading to the pool.

Kansas Rehab Physical Therapy Assistant Gustavo Ortiz says water gives a person a sense of lightness. He says the deeper the water, the less stress on the joints so there's less stress on the body.

Because of that, Ortiz says exercising in the water gives a person more range of motion. He says water therapy can be useful for people with conditions like back pain, arthritis or fibromyalgia, or after a surgical procedure. It's often combined with land therapy, or used leading up to it to strengthen the joints before moving to the land exercises which can be harder on the body,

Lois is finding the water helpful even after rehab. She's part of Kansas Rehab's Wavemakers class. It's targeted to people who've completed their formal therapy program or who just want to keep their joints fit.

Donna Lafontaine, a rehab tech and certified water instructor, says it doesn't take long for the tissues to tighten back up once formal rehab starts if a person doesn't continue to exercise the affected area. To keep from having a relapse, she says studies show the more you move, the better condition the muscles and joints will be.

The water workouts encompass flexibility and range of motion, strenthening and even aerobic fitness with walking.

Lois has been doing it twice a week for six months and says she sees a difference. She says she's able to relax more and walk further distances.

The Kansas Rehab Wavemakers class is open to anyone. The fee is $35 a month for two, 30-minute sessions a week. The sessions are Noon-12:30 pm Mon&Thur or 3-3:30 pm Tues&Thur. They do ask for a release from your doctor. To find out more, call 785-232-8533.


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