If watching Michael Phelps become the greatest Olympian of all time has spurred you on to go to the pool then you may find it has extra benefits, particularly if you have fibromyalgia.
According to a new report from Spain and Portugal, a guided exercise program carried out in warm water can relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a condition with no known cure and little to explain what causes it. Fibromyalgia is characterised by chronic, severe muscle pain and tenderness. Pain typically occurs in the neck and shoulders and leads to sleep problems, anxiety and depression. Approximately 90% of fibromyalgia patients are women.
33 women aged between 37 and 41 with fibromyalgia were studied and 17 were given a one hour supervised aquatic exercise session for a period of eight months. During the session the women took part in a warm-up, strengthening exercises, aerobics and a cool-down whilst in waist-high warm water. The remainder of the group had to remain sedentary.
The results published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy showed that women who exercised in the water had reduced symptoms and an improvement to overall health.
So there's no need to try and compete with Michael Phelps if you want to improve your fibromyalgia symptoms. A simple aquatic exercise regime can be beneficial and cost-effective. Consider therapies that use relaxation techniques and hydrotherapy to help with fibromyalgia.