Orthopedic is not only about surgery or prescribing medicines, we advise lot of postural modifications , lifestyle changes, physiotherapy and exercises for fitness for normal healthy life. Now, all those exercises we talk about, swimming is undoubtedly the best. Let me explain why it is better than many others. Suppose you are fighting against weight gain and you start jogging or walking. Both being high impact exercises there is a chance that after 15 days you can come back to the clinic with stress fracture. Swimming being a low impact workout, such a condition does not arise. Swimming is a sport, refreshing exercise , therapy and fun.
Swimming is a very good heart lung exercise and it improves cardio-pulmonary reserve at any age group without taking a toll of the joints.
Cooling down in a swimming pool releases stress and tension and ensures a good sleep which is very demanding in today’s lifestyle. It helps to develop a positive attitude and decreases blood sugar in diabetes patients, controls hypertension and fights against obesity. Swimming is a therapy for lot of orthopedic problems and plays a huge role in rehab phase of post-surgery. Buoyancy of water that reduces weight of a person in water and ensures low impact in the joints. When someone is immersed up to his waist about 50% of his body weight is reduced effectively. One can start stretching exercises to increase mobility and flexibility of the affected part or the whole body. As there is a continual resistance on movement against water, it increases bulk and the power of the muscles needed in rehab phase.
Swimming is probably the best medicine for the patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and it is a must for them to stay mobile. In AS patients swimming helps to prevent stiffness and pain of neck, lower back and hip joints. Swimming is also good for osteoarthritis, spinal problem. It is allowed early after knee arthroscopic surgery or total knee replacement to increase joint flexibility and muscle (quadriceps and hamstrings) power.
Ours is a tropical country and summer is perfect for outdoor swimming. If you are busy, 3 days a week for 30 minutes is good enough time to invest in a swimming pool to stay fit, healthy, energetic and mobile. If you do not know swimming then go and learn it. If you think you are very old to learn it then remember there is no age for learning anything new in life and you will always find there are people older than you in the swimming pool with novice cap.