Health Team

Swimming can relieve joint pain, help weight loss

Posted January 30, 2009 6:34 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— A rigorous swim routine offers develops greater lung capacity and flexibility to perform well in other activities, Rex Wellness Center swimming trainer Catherine Baldwin said. Unlike most exercise, she added, swimming also offers benefits for sore, tired joints.

“I like the fact that you can exercise and be almost pain-free,” Baldwin said.

The water resistance makes the workout more efficient. Some clients say one-hour of exercise in the water is like two hours on the ground.

Most of Baldwin’s clients come from the Baby Boom generation.

“It’s go, go, go – and our joints are hurting,” Baldwin said.

Harold Liles, 43, had been an athlete until he developed plantar fasciitis in both feet about six years ago.

Liles said he stopped running, and then he started gaining weight – about 50 pounds.

Instead of focusing on weight loss, Liles said he decided to complete a triathlon. While he could handle the biking and running, Liles didn’t have the same confidence swimming.

“I could swim one lap and come up for air and continue going,” Liles said.

After four months of training with Baldwin, Liles said he has lost 25 pounds and gained a healthier body.

Before starting any new workout routine – on the ground or in the water – check with your doctor to see if any conditions might limit your activity.