Take the Plunge for Your Health

Whether you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness, boost range of motion, or reduce joint pain, going to the pool can pay off. Exercise in water offers a beneficial combination of buoyancy and resistance. Swimming is an excellent form of aerobic exercise—and a fun way to change things up if you’re tired of land-based activities.

Just be sure you feel safe and comfortable in the water before taking the plunge.

“Swimming tends to be more of a total body exercise than, say, cycling, because it strengthens the back, shoulder, and trunk muscles in addition to the legs,” says Scott Yang, PT, MSPT, COMT, Cert. MDT, Physical Therapist at Carson Tahoe Health Outpatient Physical Therapy. “Swimming is relatively easy on the joints, and moving through water offers a gentle form of resistance.”

You don’t have to swim laps to benefit from aquatic activity. Upright aquatic exercise led by a physical therapist can help treat arthritis, balance issues, and a variety of other conditions.

Are You Taking Training Too Far?

Anyone who exercises can overtrain, but it’s more common among elite athletes, exercise- compulsive people, and young athletes who specialize in a sport year-round, according to Yang. Still, it’s important to recognize the signs of overtraining so you’ll know if you’re doing too much.

These signs include:

  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Excessive, persistent muscle soreness
  • Fatigue
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood changes
  • Nagging injuries

“Physical therapists can help with orthopedic injuries from overtraining,” Yang says. “Psychological interventions and behavioral modification, stress management, and treatment of sleep and nutritional disorders may also be appropriate for people who overtrain.”

To learn more about outpatient physical therapy at Carson Tahoe, visit www.carsontahoe.com/physical-therapy or call (775) 445-5757.