10 Exercises to Do in the Pool


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Aquatic exercise can be very beneficial for patients with pulmonary fibrosis (PF), as the water supports a good proportion of a person’s body weight, making it easier to move around.

The American Physiotherapy Association has some recommended exercises to try next time you’re in the pool:

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1. Walking or jogging. Try alternating between walking forward or backward, gradually increasing speed to make it more difficult. You can also try alternating between jogging and walking for 30-second intervals for a total of five minutes.

2. Forward and side lunges. Take a large step forward, not letting your knee pass your toes. With the side lunge, take a large step to the side, making sure both your feet are facing forward.

3. Balancing on one leg. Place a pool noodle so it forms a ‘U’ shape underneath one of your legs with your foot in the center and then raise that leg to hip level. Hold it there for up to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg, aiming to do one to two sets of five for each leg.

4. Side stepping. Turn your body and toes to face the wall and take 10 to 20 steps to one side, then return back to your starting position.

5. Hip kickers. Stand with the pool wall to one side of your body for support. Make a forward kicking motion with one leg, then to the side, then backward. Try three sets of 10 with each leg.

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6. Pool planks. Hold a noodle in front of you and lean forwards into a plank position. The noodle will be submerged under the water, with your elbows down towards the bottom of the pool, keeping your feet on the floor. Hold for 15 to 16 seconds and repeat five times.

7. Deep water bicycle. Pass a noodle around the back of your body to support your arms and move your legs in a bicycle motion. Maintain for three to five minutes.

8. Arm raises. Hold your arms to your side, arms bent at 90 degrees. Keeping your elbows bent, raise your arms towards the surface of the water, repeating for three sets of 10.

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9. Push ups. Put your arms shoulder width apart on the pool edge. Push your weight through your hands to raise your body halfway out of the water, hold for three seconds then return.

10. Standing knee lift. Stand with your back against the pool wall. Lift one knee up to hip height, then straighten your knee. Do three sets of 10 for each leg.

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Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.